Shakespeare's Shylock and attitudes towards him in socio-historical context by Miriam Weinmann

Shakespeare's Shylock and attitudes towards him in socio-historical context

byMiriam Weinmann

Kobo ebook | June 24, 2008

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Seminar paper from the year 2008 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,7, University of Trier, course: Literaturwissenschaftliches Kolloquium, 11 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The precise date for the composition of Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice' is unknown (Cerasano 97), but it must have been written 'sometime between 1596 and 1598' (Gross 19). It was first printed in 1600 (Cerasano 2), with the title: 'The most excellent History of the Merchant of Venice. With the extreame crueltie of Shylocke the Iewe towards the sayd Merchant, in cutting a iust pound of his fleshe: and the obtayning of Portia by the choyse of three chests. As it hath beene divers times acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his servants' (Alexander 8). This title might give the one or other reader food for thought. It implies that Shakespeare's contemporaries must have seen the play, especially the character Shylock, 'in dissimilar terms' from us nowadays (Cerasano 55). The following work will shed some light on the changes in reception and interpretation of 'The Merchant of Venice', which have developed from the time of its creation until today, which is an absolutely natural process, as 'texts change with time and audience' (Alexander 90). To get to the bottom of these changes, especially the character Shylock and the attitudes of the audiences of the different centuries towards him have to be brought into focus. This work will show in what ways these attitudes and thus the reception have changed and where these changes derive from. In addition to that, a selection of suggestions made by twentieth-century critics for interpreting the play, as it might have been meant to be by Shakespeare, will be introduced. His underlying intention has been debated over very much, which has given rise to an abundance of divergent interpretations, especially about how Shylock has to be assessed and how Shakespeare himself saw him. To find answers, we have to enter 'into Elizabethan attitudes and beliefs' and theatrical conventions which have influenced him, because 'an author can only be properly understood in the context of his own times' (Gross 181) and 'the more knowledge [...] we bring to it the richer our reading is likely to be' (Moody 20).

Title:Shakespeare's Shylock and attitudes towards him in socio-historical contextFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:June 24, 2008Publisher:GRIN PublishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3638068765

ISBN - 13:9783638068765