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How does Shakespeare Present the outsider in 'Othello; the moor of Venice' - Essay Example

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One who doesnt fit into the existing social, and cultural set up of the society is an outsider! The society is not comfortable with him. One is not comfortable with the values of the society and is unable to assimilate into the mainstream. One lives with a…
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How does Shakespeare Present the outsider in Othello; the moor of Venice
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Download file to see previous pages Often one faces clash of values with serious implications. The conflict between Shylock and Antonio, in Shakespeares Merchant of Venice is similar. The verbal duels between them indicate how their personalities are contradictory. For example, Shylock thinks that a man of Antonios upbringing can neither lend nor borrow for advantage, whereas for Shylock it is a way of life. This is the confirmation of difference between a Christian and a Jew.
The approach to money, of the Christians and Jews in the 16th century Venice, was entirely different. To Christians, earning interest by lending, was a sin. So the presence of the Jews(outsiders) was considered necessary to save Christians from the sin of lending to earn interest. The Jews in Venice at that time were held in contempt but their economic utility was appreciated. Jews were necessary like bakers, for the overall welfare of the community. The religious beliefs of Shylock and Antonio show up strongly in their secular activities. Shakespeare cleverly understands and weaves the dialogues indicating the differences between the Jewish and Christian perspectives on the Bible. In Judaism great emphasis is laid on free will, which means human endeavor, incentive and motivations are prominent part of the action-oriented life. Christians see divine intervention in the day to day happenings and have a greater tendency to rely upon the divine forces.
The diversity between Antonio and Shylock is on account of the scriptures they revere. Having been considered as an outsider, Shylock suffered Christian oppression. Notwithstanding this fact, he is steadfast in his fealty to Judaism. In this spirit, Yaffe believes that Shakespeare deliberately set out to “correct what he sees as the theologically unwarranted and politically deleterious abuse of Jews in the name of Christian teaching.” (Yaffe, 1997, p. 47) Shylock merely retaliates the abusive behavior of Christians against him. The social ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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