Home » Money Matters - Christian Ventures and Jewish Usury in Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice by Lisa Mevissen
Money Matters - Christian Ventures and Jewish Usury in Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice Lisa Mevissen

Money Matters - Christian Ventures and Jewish Usury in Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice

Lisa Mevissen

Published June 4th 2010
ISBN : 9783640635009
Paperback
40 pages
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 About the Book 

Seminar paper from the year 2009 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, RWTH Aachen University (Lehrstuhl fur Anglistische Literaturwissenschaft), course: William Shakespeare: The Tempest and the Merchant ofMoreSeminar paper from the year 2009 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, RWTH Aachen University (Lehrstuhl fur Anglistische Literaturwissenschaft), course: William Shakespeare: The Tempest and the Merchant of Venice, language: English, abstract: In Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice we are confronted with a lot of opposites: friendship versus hatred, male versus female power, mercy versus justice or Judaism versus Christianity- just to name a few examples. By contrasting these opposing themes, Shakespeare evolves a lot of problems, which raise unsolvable questions. If we take for example Shylock, we constantly change our opinion about him: on the one hand we dislike him for he is villainous, greedy and merciless, and on the other hand we pity him because of his losses and his isolation in society. Yet, one cannot make a clear-cut statement about him for he bears opposing characteristics in his attitude. So, one can see, Shakespeare does not only depict opposites, but he also creates opposing opinions about the same topic in our heads. Thus, the oppositions he shows in his play should be looked at more carefully. Therefore, I want to focus on the contrast between Jewish usury and Christian ventures, for the conflict between both groups constantly leads to essential problems in the play. As a preliminary step, I want to look at the historical background, an important impact, which influenced the plays final conception. In the following, I want to compare the attitudes of Christians towards Jews and vice versa. In addition to that, in this paper I want to concentrate on the instance that complicates the tension between Christians and Jews: money. Money binds both opposing groups - Christians and Jews - unwillingly together and causes essential conflicts. Therefore, I want to analyse how Christianity and Judaism is interwoven by money, usury, ventures and the characters behaviour. Therefore, a depiction and an analysis