Anti-Semitism In The Merchant Of Venice By William Shakespeare

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“The Merchant of Venice” is one of William Shakespeare’s most complex and controversial stage plays. “The Merchant of Venice” is a comedic, tragedy that enveloped everything that an audience wants to experience. From love to hate, justice to revenge “The Merchant of Venice” has it all. William Shakespeare focused many themes that were controversial in society during his time and some that are still controversial in society. This essay will focus on analyzing and connecting the major theme of 16th century anti-Semitism to underplayed racism and anti-Islamic ideas of today’s society. Anti-Semitism is the hatred and prejudice of Jews. In 16th century Europe, the majority of the population was Catholic while the minority was Muslim, Jewish,…show more content…
For example, an article entitled Jews Are a ‘Race,’ Genes Reveal by Jon Entine, details a book written by Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and Albert Einstein College of Medicine professor. Ostrer’s book Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People states scientific evidence that Jews are genetically different. Ostrer’s book is divided into six chapters that all feature a prominent scientist or historical figure who advanced the understanding of Jewishness (Entine, "Jews Are a 'Race, ' Genes Reveal"). Although this idea is very controversial and still borders on anti-Semitism and Jewish inferiority, Ostrer’s research opens doors for Jewish superiority and advancement in genetics. Entine quotes Ostrer’s justification of his…show more content…
“On the other, it might provide fodder for anti-Semitism by providing evidence of a genetic basis for undesirable traits that are present among some Jews. These issues will newly challenge the liberal view that humans are created equal but with genetic liabilities.” Although there are only slight differences between all races there are still differences that set races apart and that lead to answers on why certain ethnicities are more prone to certain diseases. Some examples of race related disease are African Americans and Hypertension or Jewish and Tay - Sachs disease. The idea of Jews as a race is still highly controversial but there is some evidence that the Jewish people can be considered a race. The one thing that everyone can agree on is that Jewish is a religion. There are many different sects or denominations of Judaism just as there is in Christianity. There were many movements of Judaism from the oldest Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots to the medieval movements such as the Karaites and Rabbinical Judaism which splits into the four movements in the United States (Rich, "Movements of Judaism"). According to the Jewish Outreach Institute there are only four main denominations of Judaism: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist ("Intermarriage

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