The Merchant of Venice | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Charles Edelman

This literature criticism consists of approximately 16 pages of analysis & critique of The Merchant of Venice.
This section contains 4,784 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Charles Edelman

SOURCE: Edelman, Charles. “Which Is the Jew that Shakespeare Knew?: Shylock on the Elizabethan Stage.” Shakespeare Survey 52 (1999): 99-106.

In the following essay, Edelman reconstructs Elizabethan perceptions and expectations of Jewish theatrical characters, offering evidence that Shakespeare's Shylock was more likely a tragic figure than simply a comic villain.

As John Gross remarks in Shylock: Four Hundred Years in the Life of a Legend, ‘everyone who writes about the stage history of The Merchant of Venice is doomed to quote, sooner or later’, the couplet supposedly spoken by Alexander Pope upon seeing Charles Macklin's portrayal in 1741:

This is the Jew That Shakespeare drew.(1) 

Pope's comment shows that he considered Macklin's hard and bitterly malevolent interpretation to be a welcome corrective to the Shylock of Thomas Doggett and his...

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This section contains 4,784 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Charles Edelman