The Merchant of Venice | Critical Essay by Mary Janell Metzger

This literature criticism consists of approximately 28 pages of analysis & critique of The Merchant of Venice.
This section contains 8,199 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Mary Janell Metzger

SOURCE: “‘Now by My Hood, a Gentle and No Jew’: Jessica, The Merchant of Venice, and the Discourse of Early Modern English Identity,” in PMLA, Vol. 113, No. 1, 1998, pp. 52-63.

In the essay below, Metzger examines Elizabethan England's anxieties about racial and religious differences as symbolized by Shylock's daughter, Jessica, in The Merchant of Venice. Metzger contrasts the white-skinned, Christian-looking Jessica, who willingly and easily converts, with her dark-skinned father, who is forced by society to convert without ever, in fact, being accepted by society.

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...

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This section contains 8,199 words
(approx. 28 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Mary Janell Metzger