Prejudice against Elizabethan Jews
There were few Jews in England. Most Elizabethans would never had even met one Jew. All that was known about Jews and their religion and customs were from vague rumour and reputation mixed with horrifying wives tales about the Jews being responsible for spreading the Bubonic Plague.
How Jews were portrayed in Elizabethan Plays and Literature
Anti-Semitism was rife in Elizabethan England. Theatre audiences expected Jews to be portrayed according to the Jewish stereotype. The dramatists of the Elizabethan era gave their audiences what they expected to see. William Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice in which a Jewish character called Shylock was depicted as the stereotype Jew who was also a money lender. Jews were known to circumcise the men of their race. In the plot Shylock agrees to lend the hero 3,000 ducats, and as forfeit would have to return a pound of flesh if the debt was not repaid. Elizabethan men would have been horrified to see this as a connection to the Jewish ritual of circumcision. Christopher Marlowe wrote the play entitled the Jew of Malta. His Jew is also depicted as a cruel, egotistic, and greedy man.
Queen Elizabeth I - Jews and Catholics
The Elizabethan era saw great forms of prejudice against people who did not adhere to the Protestant religion. But the prejudice against Catholics related to their faith whilst the Anti-Semitism extended to the whole of the Jewish race as well as their religion.
Interesting Facts and Information about Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth I - Jews and Catholics
Some interesting facts and information about Queen Elizabeth I - Jews and Catholics. Some interesting facts and information about Queen Elizabeth I and the Jews and Catholics in Elizabethan England, Additional details, facts and information about religion and the law can be accessed via the Elizabethan Era Sitemap.
Religion in Elizabethan England