This is the first 1,000 characters of 1701 words (6.8 pages) in the essay titled Shylock
Throughout the course of history, Jews have been relentlessly persecuted. The English are not an exception, since their history shows that the general English attitude towards Jews during the Elizabethan Era is anti-Semitic. This negative bias towards Jews is apparently clear in Elizabethan literature, including William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Shylock, the Jewish antagonist in Shakespeare’s play, is stereotypically portrayed as a villain in accordance to popular prejudice. Thus, Shylock is labeled as a villain because he is a Jew. This misconception of Jews as being villainous in nature persisted well into the 20th century until the recent mass genocide of Jews in Hitler’s Nazi Germany. This appalling incident is the marking point that sensitized the modern reader to Jewish sufferings. Thus, in the eyes of the modern reader, Shylock’s characterization as a villain due to his religious convictions is refuted. Still, it is not only sympathy t...
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