Shakespeare and the Jews by James ShapiroShakespeare and the Jews by James Shapiro

Shakespeare and the Jews

byJames Shapiro

Paperback | March 8, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 204 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


First published in 1996, James Shapiro's pathbreaking analysis of the portrayal of Jews in Elizabethan England challenged readers to recognize the significance of Jewish questions in Shakespeare's day. From accounts of Christians masquerading as Jews to fantasies of settling foreign Jews in Ireland, Shapiro's work delves deeply into the cultural insecurities of Elizabethans while illuminating Shakespeare's portrayal of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. In a new preface, Shapiro reflects upon what he has learned about intolerance since the first publication of Shakespeare and the Jews.

James Shapiro is the Larry Miller Professor of English at Columbia University and a governor of the Folger Shakespeare Library. He is the author of several books, including The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 (2015) and 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005).
Title:Shakespeare and the JewsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pagesPublished:March 8, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231178670

ISBN - 13:9780231178679


Table of Contents

Preface to the Twentieth Anniversary EditionAcknowledgmentsA Note on TextsIntroduction1. False Jews and Counterfeit Christians2. Myths, Histories, Consequences3. The Jewish Crime4. "The Pound of Flesh"5. The Hebrew Will Turn Christian6. Race, Nation, or Alien?7. Shakespeare and the Jew Bill of 1753ConclusionNotesSelect BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Shapiro provides a shocking overview of Elizabethan England's anti-Semitism, and shows how Shylock was shaped by that Christian nation's fears; Shakespeare's Jew conformed all too closely to his audience's expectations.