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From the beginning the interest concentrated on the character of Shylock the Jew. Racism in Othello. An interracial marriage in the sixteenth century? Although largely hidden from history, slaves were a significant but largely unrecognised class in Medieval Italy. Shakespeare was integral in challenging the subservient role expected of women in the 16th century. 3. fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries Italian moneylenders were subject to a series of parliamentary petitions calling for their 376 Racism and Homophobia in The Merchant of Venice. Audiences soak in this unspoken and virtually undetectable racism, and how diversity is portrayed on screen, on a stage, or in a play is a big part in learning this prejudice. In the late 1360s, Francesco Petrarch was living in Venice … Wells, Stanley W., 1930– pr3069.r33 s5 2000 822.3′3–dc21 99 … Eager to take some of Venice's lands, all neighbouring powers joined in the League of Cambrai in 1508, under the leadership of Pope Julius II. Blacks in literature.6. Ideas of Africans as inferior, backwards and barbaric can be traced back to those justifying slavery in the 18th century. The problem lies in the final conclusion: the author considers that there was no intellectual racism in the sixteenth century, since the duke was murdered under the accusation of being a tyrant, but his racial status was not used in political debate or in denigration of his memory, which proves the supremacy of the innate quality of princes. ... to his parliamentary history, the fourteenth-century appeal for the Prejudice is a dominant theme in The Merchant of Venice, most notably taking the form of anti-Semitism. While marriage customs have changed over the years, Shakespearian critics, when arguing “The Merchant of Venice”, agree that racism and religious intolerance are blaring principles when examining the marriages of Portia and Bassanio and Jessica and Lorenzo. It fascinates people since the beginning of the 16th century and provoked manifold appraisals and interpretations. Black was an emotionally partisan color and a sign of danger. Note the virtually independent third part of the book about the economic situation of the Jews in the city without and in the terraferma with “Monti di Pietà” in the century after the League of Cambrai (1508). 4. The meaning of black before the 16th century, as described by the Oxford English Dictionary, included “deeply stained with dirt, soiled, foul, deadly, baneful, disastrous, sinister”. Therefore, Shakespeare created a character who reflected some of these attitudes. Merchant of Venice is a play in the 16th century that was written by the infamous writer, Shakespeare. society – England – History –16th century. The 16th century was the beginning of the Decline for the Republic of Venice. i. Alexander, Catherine M. S.ii. Shakespeare, William, 1564–1616 – Characters – Blacks.5. Shylock is stereotypically described as “costumed in a recognizably Jewish way in a long gown of gabardine, probably black, with a red beard and/or wing like that of Judas, and a hooked putty nose or bottle nose” (Charney, p. 41). Throughout the play, ‘The Merchant of Venice’, women are expressed as powerful characters who behave, speak and live in a way that breaks away from the conformist role of females during the 16th century. Ravid, Benjamin. The Turkish invaded and by 1563, the population of Venice had dropped to … The Merchant of Venice is one of the most interesting plays written by William Shakespeare. And we know that in the last few centuries, interracial couples have faced extreme prejudice, racism, and hatred just for living their lives. It seems impossible. Since the late 16th century, marriage customs have drastically altered their core values from power and money to… Literature and society – England – History –17th century. Race in literature. 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