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The Jews and the Muslims: A Study in the Similarity between “The Merchant of Venice” and an Islamic Story entitled “The Merchant and the Jew”

Journal: International Journal of English, Literature and Social Science (Vol.4, No. 6)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 2017-2022

Keywords : culture; Jew; merchant; Muslim; usury;

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Cross cultural studies have attracted the attention of researchers for a long period of time. Literary works often reflect the culture, ideas and thoughts of their societies. The story of the “the Merchant and the Jew''appeared in a number of books; one of which is “AL-Bahlul Stories''. It has a great resemblance to the play “The Merchant of Venice'' written by Shakespeare. The two stories have thematic similarity as they both deal with the relation between a non- Jewish merchant and a Jewish merchant. In this paper, we are trying to trace the similarities, and the differences between the two works. “ The Merchant and the Jew'' is the same as the story we find in the play, which is mainly concerned with the relationship between Antonio, the Christian merchant and Shylock, the Jewish one. The similarity is also indicated in terms of the idea of usury which is clearly available in the two works, and in Shakespeare`s play, it has a striking similarity to one of Islamic hadiths in which usury is highly condemned. As for the differences, the character of the Christian merchant in the play is not available in the story of “The Merchant and the Jew”, but we have a Muslim merchant instead. Another difference is the place of the action which is Venice in the play but Baghdad in the story.

Last modified: 2020-03-26 18:11:15