May 14, 2022 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm #2086467Zaphod BeeblebroxParticipant
Many have pointed to Shakespeare’s okay the merchant of Venice in which a Jew is the villain as proof that he was an anti semite. However, I’ve heard that in IRL the Jew was in fact the hero of the story, and Shakespeare made him into the villain only because he knew that in those anti Semitic times no one would show to a play in which the jew was the good guy, and that he was not in fact an anti Semite. Has anyone else heard this or have any sources that prove this?May 15, 2022 9:21 am at 9:21 am #2086582
The lady doth protest too much.May 15, 2022 9:22 am at 9:22 am #2086642
Shakespeare lived in the period when Jews were not allowed in England (1280s-1650s), so Jews were probably just a theoretical concept for him and his audience.May 15, 2022 10:26 am at 10:26 am #2086667Reb EliezerParticipant
People get influenced from the times they live in.May 15, 2022 10:26 am at 10:26 am #2086668GadolhadorahParticipant
I tend to agree with the many critics who contend that “sympathetic” readings of Shylock are a post-Holocaust invention. There is a bit or irony in contemporary audiences who only read Shylock sympathetically because reading him any other way, in light of the horrors of the Shoah, would reflect poorly on the reader. Defenders of Merchant usually offer two compelling arguments: Shakespeare’s somewhat sympathetic treatment of Shylock, and his mockery of the Christian characters. I just don’t buy either argument as credible, then or now.May 15, 2022 11:05 am at 11:05 am #2086677commonsaychelParticipant
There was always a ting of Anti Semitim in the classics, take for example Mark Twain and concerning the Jews, that piece can be interpreted both ways.May 15, 2022 11:29 am at 11:29 am #2086683
CS: The most important question here is we need your assessment as to whether the OP is a troll?May 15, 2022 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm #2086690Reb EliezerParticipant
Shylock also said that if they pierce us don’t we bleed.May 15, 2022 1:57 pm at 1:57 pm #2086725
Do any mainstream Mesivtas today still teach Shakespeare?May 15, 2022 2:20 pm at 2:20 pm #2086750
Do any kids read any of world classics, whether at school or not? And if yes, what is your secret?!May 15, 2022 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm #2086754MarxistParticipant
I think Torah Vodaath does, though I’m not 100% sure.May 15, 2022 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #2086923smerelParticipant
>>>However, I’ve heard that in IRL the Jew was in fact the hero of the story, and Shakespeare made him into the villain only because he knew that in those anti Semitic times no one would show to a play in which the Jew was the good guy, and that he was not in fact an anti Semite
I’ve seen the claim that the Jew was the hero of the story and Shakespeare changed the roles is a Marcus Lehman. I question if the story ever happened to begin with that anyone had any role in it.
As far as Shakespeare himself is concerned the excuse sounds like all the Germans who said after the war “we only members of the Nazi party for business purposes” And in the case of the Germans some of them really didn’t actively do anything other than belong to the Nazi party whereas Shakespeare personally wrote anti-Semitic worksMay 15, 2022 8:26 pm at 8:26 pm #2086925maskildoreshParticipant
Dirk Gently and Arthur Dent were not anti semetic.
Faulkner probably was.May 15, 2022 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #2086953
what are world classics that we think Jewish kids should/could read and which ones they should not?
keep in mind not just what is talked about in current America – as a lot of classics (such as Mark Twain) is already banned in USA.
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