Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta and William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice surely show a similarity in that they represent a wicked Jew derived from the contemporary Anti-Semitism for the purpose of inciting the audience's interest. It seems certain that the popularity of the two works resulted from the excitement of crying out against the Jew and of applauding at his downfall, but the works include some ironical elements that evoke subversive meaning against the traditional anti-semitism: 7he Jew of Malta reveals not so much the Jew's wickedness as Christians' hypocritical aspects; The Merchant of Venice persuades the audience that the cruel Jew is also a human being. The dual aspects of the two works may create some dramatic effects that criticize the political and religious conflict between the Catholic and the Protestant in the Elizabethan English society. However, it is remarkable that Marlowe's voice sounds different horn Shakespeare's in revealing the prejudice and hypocritical contradiction in Christian society, even though they share the same voice in condemning the Jew's cruel and wicked aspects that reflect anti-Semitism. The Christians in Marlowe's work reveal their contradictory and hypocritical desire for money and women, and are completely mocked, despised, and ruined by Barabas. And this seems to be the result of their unjust desire to take Baraba's property which was gained by his excellent commercial technique. On the contrary, the Christians in Shakespeare's work never get ashamed by Shylock Although Antonio and Bassanio borrow money from Shylock, Antonio risks his own life and never lose his dignity even when he is about to lose his life. Rather the Christians have the chance to enjoy mocking Shylock's cruelty in virtue of Portia's wisdom. While Marlowe focuses on criticizing the Christians' hypocritical double standard through the Jew's perspective, Shakespeare is focusing on the exclusion of the dangerous Jew and its invalidity at the same time. While Marlowe shows the boldness to represent his critical view against the contemporary political and social reality in his work, Shakespeare is quite careful in his representation. Although Marlowe drives Barabas the wicked Jew into destruction, he plainly reveals his desire to transgress the ruling order of his society displaying his political view. But Shakespeare, unlike Marlowe, doesn't express any single political voice. Rather by suggesting the contradicting plural voices at the same time without transgressing the establish ruling order, he attributes the judgement to the audience.
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