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Home :: Archive :: 1993 :: February ::
Re: Shakespeare and Anti-Semitism
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 4, No. 92.  Thursday, 18 February 1993.
 
(1)     From:   Mike Newman <NEUMAN@GUVAX.BITNET>
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Feb 1993 15:17 EST
        Subj:   Shakespeare and the Evidence of the Text
 
(2)     From:   Stephen Orgel <
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 >
        Date:   Thursday, 18 Feb 93 16:02:12 PST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 4.0090  Re: Shakespeare and Anti-Semitism;
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Newman <NEUMAN@GUVAX.BITNET>
Date:           Thursday, 18 Feb 1993 15:17 EST
Subject:        Shakespeare and the Evidence of the Text
 
Those who have recently posted comments on the matter of anti-Semitism
in The Merchant of Venice have not seen fit to adduce much evidence
from the text (such as Shylock's citing Jacob as a model or the
parodic deprecating of Jacob in Lancelot Gobbo's Esau-like trick on
his blind father).
 
Is this disregard for textual evidence based on the fact that it is
difficult to gather such evidence and construe it carefully (so that
off-the-cuff comments like my own will necessarily characterize the
level of discourse on discussion groups), or is the disregard a
reflection of the disrepute into which New Criticism has fallen?
 
Mike Neuman
Georgetown
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephen Orgel <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 18 Feb 93 16:02:12 PST
Subject: 4.0090  Re: Shakespeare and Anti-Semitism;
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0090  Re: Shakespeare and Anti-Semitism;
 
Re the hooked nose, etc., Jews were Spanish/Mediterranean in Shakespeare's
time, and had names like Lopez or Soncino, or alternatively Dutch, and
had names like Abraham or Solomon (or Tubal). Shylock is an ENGLISH name.
Sam Schoenbaum cites an action Shakespeare brought against one of his
Stratford neighbors, for repayment of a debt with interest. So it looks
as if Shylock wasn't an outsider at all...
 
Stephen Orgel
 

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