ERIC Number: EJ1110177
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
"I Could Teach You How to Choose Right": Using Holocaust Memoir to Teach Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice"
Whaley, Annemarie Koning
Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education, v18 n4 p361-369 2011
The article examines the problems of teaching William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" after the Holocaust, arguing that even though the play is anti-Semitic, it can become a valuable teaching tool when placed in the context of the Holocaust memoirs "Dry Tears" by Nechama Tec and "The Nazi Officer's Wife" by Edith Hahn Beer. These two texts show remarkable similarities with "The Merchant of Venice." Discussing the effect on authors of these memoirs of ghetto life, persistent anti-Semitism and forced conversion can help students see Shylock as sympathetic and the play as tragic rather than comic.
Descriptors: English Instruction, Teaching Methods, Death, European History, Jews, English Literature, Racial Bias, Authors, Slums, College Students, Discussion (Teaching Technique)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A