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«Scorned My Nation»

A Comparison of Translations of "The Merchant of Venice</I> into German, Hebrew, and Yiddish


Dror Abend-David

In this book, the German history of The Merchant of Venice highlights the Central European detour that Shakespearean reception underwent in Hebrew and Yiddish. Such a detour, with its various discomforts, is used to penetrate a current historical and political historiography, rendering Shylock a character that remembers various languages and locations, as well as multiple alternatives for political self-definition. This complex Shakespearean character speaks in many voices and for various purposes and is the only character that can provide the missing link between two contradictory Jewish stereotypes – a persecuted and victimized underling and a merciless and violent plaintive, holding out his knife to draw blood.