Read Blood Relations: Christian and Jew in The Merchant of Venice by Janet Adelman Free Online
Book Title: Blood Relations: Christian and Jew in The Merchant of Venice|
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The author of the book: Janet Adelman
Edition: University of Chicago Press
Date of issue: April 1st 2008
ISBN 13: 9780226006819
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 457 KB
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In Blood Relations, Janet Adelman confronts her resistance to The Merchant of Venice as both a critic and a Jew. With her distinctive psychological acumen, she argues that Shakespeare’s play frames the uneasy relationship between Christian and Jew specifically in familial terms in order to recapitulate the vexed familial relationship between Christianity and Judaism.
Adelman locates the promise—or threat—of Jewish conversion as a particular site of tension in the play. Drawing on a variety of cultural materials, she demonstrates that, despite the triumph of its Christians, The Merchant of Venice reflects Christian anxiety and guilt about its simultaneous dependence on and disavowal of Judaism. In this startling psycho-theological analysis, both the insistence that Shylock’s daughter Jessica remain racially bound to her father after her conversion and the depiction of Shylock as a bloody-minded monster are understood as antidotes to Christian uneasiness about a Judaism it can neither own nor disown.
In taking seriously the religious discourse of The Merchant of Venice, Adelman offers in Blood Relations an indispensable book on the play and on the fascinating question of Jews and Judaism in Renaissance England and beyond.
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Read information about the authorJanet Adelman was a professor in the English Department at the University of California, Berkley and Shakespeare scholar best known for her combination of psychoanalytic and feminist theory. She authored three major works on Shakespeare, including Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origins in Shakespeare's Plays, Hamlet to the Tempest (1992), Common Liar: An Essay on Antony & Cleopatra (1973) and Blood Relations: Christian and Jew in the Merchant of Venice (2008), along with numerous articles and reviews. She was well respected as a teacher and as a member of the academic community both at Berkley, where she was the first woman to join the English Department, and nationally as a member of the Modern Language Association and the Shakespeare Association of America.
Adelman retired from Berkley in 2007 and sadly passed away in 2010 at the age of 69.