censorship, Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, pedagogy, racism
The Merchant of Venice is typically read as a racist text, and often censored as such from production in modern society or from study in modern high schools. This is due to the racism in the play. However, I submit that although racism is clearly present in the play, the play in itself never actually promotes any form of racism or condones prejudice. Throughout the play we see good and bad sides of both the Christians and the Jew, and we never come to any conclusion about how they should be treated. In this way the text actually provokes audiences to consider introspectively their own thoughts on racism. Rather than being a racist text, this is a text which illustrates examples of racism, and explores its causes and effects. Thus, it is a text about racism, that is appropriate for modern audiences and students.
Intensive reading, discussion, and (in some sections) viewing of plays from the comedy, tragedy, romance, and history genres.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Wonnacott, Marsha, "The Merchant of Venice as a Non-Racist Text" (2012). Student Works. 103.
Class Project or Paper
© 2012 Marsha Wonnacott
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