Stereotypes and The Merchant of Venice

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Stereotypes are a fixed image of all members of a culture, group, or race usually based on limited and inaccurate information resulted from the minimal contact with this stereotyped groups. stereotypes have many forms; people are stereotyped according to their religion, race, ethnicity, age, gender, coulor, or national origins. This kind of intolerance is focused on the easily observable characteristics of groups of people. In general, stereotypes reduce individuals to a rigid and inflexible image that doesn't account for the multi-dimensional nature of human beings. One example of stereotypes is the categorization of the Jews in Elizabethan era. In fact, Elizabethan era was an age of prejudice, discrimination, and religious persecution…show more content…
Moreover, the veiled hostility in shylock's tone illustrates a further stereotypical fact about the Jews which is the unjustified aggression, the innate desire for revenge, and the underlying hatred they bear everyone, especially Christians. The idea of summing up these ideas about shylock in an aside is a successful technique manipulated by Shakespeare to reflect how deceptive a Jew can be. Shylock is also characterized as a man whose love of money is greater than any emotional feelings or any human relations, even his relation with his daughter, as he points out: My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter! Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats! Justice! The law! My ducats and my daughter! A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats, Of double ducats, stol'n from me by my daughter! And jewels, two stones, two rich precious stones, Stol'n by my daughter! Justice! Find the girl! (II, viii) In this utterance one can visualize the typical miser and greedy Jew who weeps for his money and jewels calling his "own flesh and blood" (III, i) a thief and asking for legal penalty against her. "I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear! Would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin!" (III, i) his words are so cold-hearted reflecting the innate cruelty of the Jews
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