merchent of venice act 1 scene 2

Topics: William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Marriage Pages: 4 (1528 words) Published: May 25, 2014
Part 1
Merchant of venice project

Why did Shakespeare choose to write a play on Jews?
. The main theme of the merchant of Venice is anti-Semitism. Over the years many have argued that the merchant of Venice is an spin off on Christopher Marlowe’s ‘The Jew of Malta’. Both plays were anti-Semitic and based on the stereotypical idea of Jews. This is because at the time, there weren’t many Jews living in England. Also because in the middle ages Jews were a great source of revenue. Money lending was quite profitable, although Christians were forbidden from participating in it due to religious beliefs.thus Jews earned large sums of money. However, high taxation of Jews, resulted in their impoverishment, thus they became a liability intead of a source of revenue and were expelled from Britain in 1290.

Since The Merchant of Venice was probably first performed in 1596 or 1597, it is safe to say that Shakespeare never met a jew, and wrote about them purely bassed on stereotypes. Another reason would be that At that point a certain jew had been greatly illtreated. In 1594, Roderigo Lopez, the jewish Court Physician to Queen Elizabeth, was the victim of a court intrigue and was accused of scheming to assassinate the Queen. On no evidence, Lopez was convicted of treason and hung. This resulted in a great increase of anti-Semitism in England, a sentiment to which this play can attribute some of its primary popularity. That reading, like all understandings of the relationship of this play to anti-Semitism, is an object of dispute. And an essential part of the historical context of The Merchant of Venice is the history that has happened long after its composition. Thus Reading The Merchant of Venice is like entering into a very real historical battle between the politics of Shakespeare's timeand the politics, and ethics, of our time.

Shakespeare’s background
William Shakespeare was born on the 26th of April 1564 and died on the 23rd of April 1616.he was an...
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