Scribner Seminar Program
Shakespeare was Jewish?
Instructor (s): Lary Opitz, Theater
Perhaps not, though a case can be made. Shakespeare and Judaism do, however, intersect
in a number of ways. The study of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice will play a
central role in this seminar. Student will encounter a number of film versions and
stage adaptations of the play while grappling with the question of whether Shakespeare’s
work was anti-Semitic. Students will explore concepts of justice and mercy, racial
stereotypes, usury, the history of anti-Semitism, Shakespeare’s knowledge of the Old
Testament and the Talmud, and his influence on Yiddish theater.