Shakespeare and the Jews by James Shapiro

Shakespeare and the Jews

byJames Shapiro

Paperback | September 4, 1997

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Going against the grain of the dominant scholarship on the period, which generally ignores the impact of Jewish questions in early modern England, James Shapiro presents how Elizabethans imagined Jews to be utterly different from themselves--in religion, race, nationality, and even sexuality. From strange cases of Christians masquerading as Jews to bizarre proposals to settle foreign Jews in Ireland, this book looks into the crisis of cultural identity in Elizabethan England and sheds new light on The Merchant of Venice.

About The Author

James Shapiro is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.
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Details & Specs

Title:Shakespeare and the JewsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.03 inPublished:September 4, 1997Publisher:Columbia University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023110345X

ISBN - 13:9780231103459

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Table of Contents

False Jews and Counterfeit ChristiansMyths, Histories, ConsequencesThe Jewish Crime"A Pound of Flesh"The Hebrew Will Turn ChristianRace, Nation, or Alien?Shakespeare and the Jew Bill of 1753

From Our Editors

Going against the grain of the dominant scholarship on the period, which generally ignores the impact of Jewish questions in early modern England, James Shapiro shows how Elizabethans imagined Jews to be utterly different from themselves - in religion, race, nationality, and even sexuality. From strange cases of Christians masquerading as Jews to bizarre proposals to settle foreign Jews in Ireland, Shakespeare and the Jews looks into the crisis of cultural identity in that post-Reformation world. Even as Shakespeare has come to embody Englishness itself, The Merchant of Venice, with its exploration of Jewish criminality, conversion, race, alien status, and national identity, now stands at the crossroads of cultural exclusion and cultural longing. In this formidably researched new book, Shapiro sheds fascinating light on the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries and opens new questions about culture and identity in Elizabethan England.

Editorial Reviews

Shapiro has written a brilliant, incisive cultural history.