The Merchant of Venice | Now by My Hood, a Gentle and No Jew: Jessica,
The Merchant of Venice, and the Discourse
of Early Modern English Identity

This literature criticism consists of approximately 28 pages of analysis & critique of The Merchant of Venice.
This section contains 8,150 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Now by My Hood, a Gentle and No Jew: Jessica, The Merchant of Venice, and the Discourse of Early Modern English Identity

Mary Janell Metzger, Western Washington University

Jessica, the other Jew in The Merchant of Venice, is doubly distinguished.1 Unlike her father, Shylock, she is said to be "gentle": at once noble and gentile. Yet as the "now" quoted in my title signifies and as Jessica readily admits, she remains "a daughter to [Shylock's] blood" despite her conversion (2.6.51, 2.3.18). Distinguished from Portia and Nerissa, whose marriages work to secure the social standing of the men they love, she is more saved than saving in her marriage to Lorenzo. Indeed, representations of Jessica, unlike those of other characters in the play, turn on alternating characterizations of her as a latent Christian and as a racialized and thus unintegrable Jew.2

Until recently, discussions of race or Jewishness in The Merchant...

(read more)

This section contains 8,150 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Now by My Hood, a Gentle and No Jew: Jessica, The Merchant of Venice, and the Discourse of Early Modern English Identity