The character of Shylock therefore confirmed the audience's view of history and anti-Semitic feelings. A modern audience, unaware of the history may have a different view of Shylock. The Elizabethan audience would have most definitely thought that Shylock was a villain and would have felt no sympathy towards him. The Elizabethan Christians particularly disliked Jews because of their profession of lending money and charging interest, which was Shylock's profession. Another reason for resentment towards Jews was that in 1593, Queen Elizabeth's Jewish doctor, Roderigo Lopez, was accused of trying to poison her.
Also they were though of as conspirators because they because they had "secret meetings," and that it only appealed to the low-lifes of the town due to their gullibility. Around the year 90, many Jews wanted condemn any Jew who had accepted Jesus as the messiah to rid Judaism of any trace of Christianity (Weaver 49). During the time that Nero was emperor of Rome, there was "the great fire" in Rome. Nero, faced with a troublesome Roman community, blamed the Christian people for this event and persecuted them (Von Voorst 71). Despite all this, Christianity continued to grow.
Jews were often banned from owning land or to participate in any trade. So effectively the Jews ended up with a lot of spare cash to spend on investment. Christians were banned to profit on lended money there fore they borrowed money from the Jews and were hated by Christians for making profit on money lending. The first scene of the play is important because it introduces Anton... ... middle of paper ... ...The punishment given to shylock however was fair to 16th century audience because of the racial prejudices between both the religions.
Response to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice by a Modern Audience Since the time of Shakespeare, The play “Merchant of Venice” has had a dramatic effect on the modern audience today. In the 16th century, Jews were completely disliked, & Jews were not allowed to live in England unless they had converted to Christianity. ====================================================================== Jews who practised their own religion were banned from England. To modern audiences, this is “Anti-Semitic”, so this play completely shows the worse part of Christians, from beginning to end. It changes the fact that Jews had the same rights as Christians did, also today’s world doesn’t care about the race of a person, everyone has the same right.
The Merchant of Venice is a play that deals with an assortment of issues that range from politics to racial views of the Jewish people. An embodiment of these two issues can be best attributed to the character of Shylock. In a 2004 production of The Merchant of Venice, by Michael Radford, we see the character of Shylock is portrayed in a different light than that of Shakespeare's 1594 villainous Jew. Both productions pose a series of questions in comparison. An understanding of the era that these plays were written in and the audience’s perception of the production attribute greatly to a true analysis.
This shows that Jews were somewhat alienated from Venetian society and from all Christian society. Jews were seen as inferior to Christians and they were not allowed to own any type of land. Jews were also singled out by them having to wear specially colour hats to distinguish them from the rest of the Venetians. In years before, Jews were persecuted because of their religion and to years leading up to when Shakespeare wrote the 'Merchant of Venice' they were still being prejudice to Jews. These persecutions took place because of the Christians belief that the Jews were involved in the death of Jesus Christ.
William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare, having spent most of his youth in England, was influenced by England’s beliefs. England was going through a Christian reformation that had caused friction between Christians and Jews. Jews and Christians did not see eye to eye on almost everything and especially on usury, the practice of lending money with interest. Boyce, a Shakespearean critique, sums up the negative attitude that Christians had on Jews in the 16th Century: “Sixteenth-Century Englishmen tended to attribute to Jews only two important characteristics, both negative: first, that Jews detested Christians and gave much energy to devising evils for gentiles to undergo, and second, that Jews practiced usury. The latter assumption was grounded in an old reluctance on the part of Christians to lend money [with interest]” (Boyce 417).
Christian art in these tombs were mostly comprised of symbols. One of these symbols is a fish that when placed vertically forms... ... middle of paper ... ...egal and even widely accepted. Christians were persecuted for many reason one of the biggest was the fact that they worshipped only one God which was far from what the Romans believed as they worshiped several gods. Another reason for persecution was because of Jesus Christ who came to fulfill the law and deliver his people. The Romans, and many of Christ’s people, thought that this meant he would use his power to rid the Jews of Roman occupancy.
Pagans and Christians both looked for someone to blame, however the pagans who were loyal to to the emperor looked for an easy target, which happens to be the christinas. Most Christians were either slaves or soldiers, so they were hardly respectable people at that time. The main reason why Emperors persecuted Christians is because historically emperors had always been hostile to christians. How could an emperor agree to a religion where they worship Jesus Christ, a jewish criminal.
Anti-Semitism was based on religious grounds back then, they held the belief that Jews murdered Christ and were therefore in the league of the devil, this is why the Christians in the play and the directors of the play are vengeful towards Shylock. I believe that Shakespeare deliberately isolates Shylock, which then makes the play more effective, because putting all Christians in the play wouldn't give the play such a strong plot, as it has now. There would be no verbally abusive things said to both the Christians and the Jew and no remarks or stage directions used to show Shylock as the outsider, because the Christians would have treated him like one of their own! From the occurrences at that time, there were no rumours going around about the Jews which were mostly all made up, but it then gave Shakespeare an incentive, which resulted in portraying Shylock as the villain. Firstly, what is definitely noticeable is that Shylock is presented as an outsider.