Anti Semitism In Merchant Of Venice

1278 Words6 Pages
Jewish people have been treated unfairly many times in history, including when Merchant of Venice was written. MOV is about a Jewish moneylender, Shylock, who lends money to a Christian man, Antonio. Antonio isn’t able to pay the money he received and faces the punishment of death. In the end, the Jewish man gets in trouble and loses everything. Discrimination against Jews had been going on for many years before the time MOV was written. They have had their temples damaged, unjust laws imposed on them, and were even killed. During the time MOV was written, they were forced to live in a certain part of a city and they weren’t allowed to be citizens of some major cities. The anti-semitic laws and opinions were easily seen in the MOV. The way Shylock was treated was one of the most obvious examples of beliefs and laws against Jews. Shakespeare’s play can be seen as anti-semitic to some or supporting the jews to others. During the time period Merchant of Venice was written, hostility between Christians and Jews was…show more content…
An example of this is when Shylock said, “You call me misbeliever, cutthroat dog, and speth upon my Jewish gaberdine” (Shakespeare 1.3.109-111), Shakespeare is showing that the Jewish people didn’t like what the Christians were doing to them. His play was written not to support anti- semitism, but to say that it wasn’t right. During the play, he makes the reader feel bad for the Jewish people because they were treated wrongly. The mistreatment of Shylock showed how people acted in the 15th century. Shakespeare decided to write about how they acted, so people in the future knew what it was like for Jewish people during the time (Boytim). Essentially, they play was written to remember the past and the actions the Christians did to the Jews. Shakespeare's goal was to preserve the history and make sure we don’t make the same mistake
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