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Jews and Christians in Shakespeare's Time

English Research Project

Ally Brown

on 13 January 2013

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Transcript of Jews and Christians in Shakespeare's Time

Many stereotypes and prejudices against Jews
Not many Jews in Elizabethan England
Anti-semitism still very common
Christians believed:
* Jews were a threat
* Jews were heretics (person who's beliefs are contrary to the general opinion of others)
* Jews were associated with the Devil, had magical powers and were comparable to witches Before Shakespeare Jews and Christians Separation in Society Most of Europe was under the rule of Christian monarchs
Jews were forced to wear something to identify them (red cap, yellow star, etc.)
* Made prey to hatred of their fellow citizens
Forced to live in separate quarters - ghettos
Scapegoats - blamed for the bubonic plague or Black Death (poisoning the wells) Rights &Privileges Christians had more rights than Jews
Jews were tortured, burnt to the stake, thrown into prison and killed
Jews had to practice their religion in private
Jews were restricted to 2 occupations - money lending and peddlers
Jews - only source of loan for Christians Was Shakespeare Anti-Semitic? By: Ally Brown Jews and Christians in Shakespeare's Time Introduction Questions: - Why were Jews and Christians separated in Shakespeare's time? - How was this separation delineated in society? - What rights and privileges did Christians have that Jews did not? 1255 - Jews were imprisoned in the Tower of London by King Edward
1270 - King Edward declared that all Jews were a threat
1290 - All Jews were banished from England
1564-1616 - Shakespeare's lifetime
1655 - Jews were readmitted into England Shakespeare's portrayal of Shylock (The Merchant of Venice) was considered anti-semitic by some people
Shakespeare probably never met a Jew in his time
Stereotypes of Jews were extremely common and influenced many peoples opinions Bibliography Photos http://www.pogues.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=14207
http://ca.ign.com/articles/2004/12/23/william-shakespeares-the-merchant-of-venice Information http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/queen-elizabeth-i-jews-catholics.htm
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