The War Of Anti Semitism

2169 WordsAug 8, 20149 Pages
Much has been argued regarding the existent of anti-Semitism and the general disdain for Jewry supposedly apparent in the plays of William Shakespeare. Time and again his work is held up as representative of that which we - with our 21st century sensibilities - have been educated to abhor and disavow. The hatred of man because of race, color or creed has, within the collective conscience been largely rejected. The fostering of a self-regulating society has engrained contemporary sensibilities through the policy of political correctness: a body politic of public consciousness that wasn’t apparent in 16th century England or anywhere else in the western world for that matter. All were liable to open ridicule via the medium of theatre, be they king or pauper, man or woman, Moore or Jew as evidenced by the writing of the period. Everybody and everything - much to the delight of the paying public and the disdain of the censor - was fair game. The subject – Jew, Moore etc. - is irrelevant, as the subjects themselves are simply the masks upon which the foil of disdain is played. Whether xenophobic, racist, misogamist or anti-Semitic - or any other form of depredation - Shakespeare’s writing, rather than guilty of one, is representative of all. Shakespeare uses the Jew as a representation rather than as an example and therefore, can be forgiven for what we today would class as anti-Semitism. The dearth of Jewry at this particular period of history in England supports this and

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