StudentShare solutions
Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!

Book Report/Review example - Shakespeares 'The Merchant of Venice'

Only on StudentShare
Book Report/Review
Book Reports
Pages 7 (1757 words)
The character of Shylock in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (c.1597) has always raised questions about the anti-Semitic content of Shakespeare's play. In order to examine this, comparisons need to be made between the context in which Shakespeare was writing and the present day.

Extract of sample

However, the very mention and repetition of references to Shylock as a Jew suggests that Shakespeare intended to draw on anti-Jewish sentiments predominant in England at that time. Also referred to as The Jew of Venice, Shakespeare's play has similarities with Marlowe's The Jew of Malta (c.1590) in which Marlowe depicts a Jew called Barrabas being boiled in a cauldron by Christians. Although Marlowe's play has been accused of anti-Semitism, like Shylock, Barrabas is not a straightforward character but reveals humanity as well as ruthlessness. The character of Shylock also bears close resemblance to Roderigo Lopez, the personal physician to Queen Elizabeth and a Jew by faith. He was hugely unpopular at the time, being accused of poisoning the Queen. Lopez' execution and Marlowe's play helped fuel anti-Semitism in late 16th-century England.
Since the reign of Richard I, Jews were regarded as pagans and greedy usurers and they were banished from England during the time of Edward I and only allowed to return under Cromwell's rule during the seventeenth century. Thus, very few Jews lived in England during Shakespeare's time and those who did were condemned to wear red hats or wigs, and yellow strips of cloth, to distinguish them from the Christians who would not associate with them socially. ...
Download paper
Not exactly what you need?

Related papers

How do you, in the 21st Century, respond to Shakespeares dramatization of Cleopatra?
I believe Shakespeare’s dramatization of Cleopatra does not step to far away from the actual person and leader she was. However, Shakespeare seems to have placed a much larger emphases on her love life; more so than what probably took place in reality. As a matter of fact, Shakespeare presented her to the theatrical audience as more in-depth and humanistic than any other character in the play,…
6 pages (1506 words)
Shakespeares Comedy of Errors
Dromio states "no longer from head to foot than from hip to hip/ she is spherical, like a globe. I could find out countries in her."(Act III, sc.2, ln. 113-115). His cleverness of humorously comparing her to a globe grabs the audience's attention. Even if the audience may not find the joke funny, they are still able to recognize Dromio's cleverness in making the joke. This clever humour stated by…
4 pages (1004 words)
Shakespeares Henry V and The Rover
Behn persisted in writing plays until her works proved themselves worthy and her marginal status was somewhat reversed as she was accorded recognition as a playwright.…
6 pages (1506 words)
Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet
As well as the themes of love and hatred within the play, the play also puts emphasis upon fate as the controller and manipulator of the families. Romeo and Juliet meet by accident, and it is love at first sight. Accidents follow in quick succession; Juliet is forced to accept Paris as her fiance; Romeo and Juliet marry in secret; Mercutio and Tybalt are killed; the Prince banishes Romeo, and the…
4 pages (1004 words)
Supernatural Liminality in Shakespeares Hamlet
Without the ghost, Hamlet would not be Hamlet'The ghost Hamlet submits himself to haunt the play, bringing to it a supernatural resonance absent from the revenge-play ghostliness Elizabethan audiences were familiar with'why it materialized when it does, what it demands of Hamlet-all these questions might seem beside the point were the ghost not endued with extraordinary imaginative reality. (King…
5 pages (1255 words)