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Leiden University

1. schouten, J.M. Jewish Responses to Shylock: A Yiddish Translation of Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice'.

Degree: 2018, Leiden University

This thesis describes the development of Yiddish theatre which evolved in Eastern Europe and later moved to the United States of America as large groups of Eastern European Jews began to move to the United States in the 1880s and 1890s. American-Jewish authors and playwrights used the high status of Western canonical writers – mainly Shakespeare – in order to introduce their immigrant audiences to the new culture of their homeland. One of these playwrights was Joseph Bovshover, who published a translation of The Merchant of Venice in 1899. In it, he replaced many of the references to the classical mythology or to the Christian religion with Jewish concepts, in order to familiarise the readers with the play. He also applied a translation strategy of transference of references to Venetian culture in to create a sense of authenticity. In his translation he wrote a preface in which he described his appreciation of Shakespeare’s work and especially of Shylock as a tragic hero. This change of depiction was typical of Jewish adaptations of The Merchant of Venice, in which Shylock was consistently depicted as a tragic hero rather than a villain. Bovshover attempted to find a balance between presenting the audience with an authentic Shakespeare translation while at the same time allowing the audience to relate itself to the characters in the play. He did this by transferring the references to Venetian culture literally into Yiddish, while adapting most of the references to Christianity to the Jewish context from which the audience came. Advisors/Committee Members: Fonte Rodrigues, Catarina (advisor), Rodrigues Fonte, Catarina (advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Shakespeare in Translation; Yiddish theatre; Translation Studies; Jews in America; Immigrant Theatre

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APA (6th Edition):

schouten, J. M. (2018). Jewish Responses to Shylock: A Yiddish Translation of Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice'. (Masters Thesis). Leiden University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1887/65370

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

schouten, J M. “Jewish Responses to Shylock: A Yiddish Translation of Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice'.” 2018. Masters Thesis, Leiden University. Accessed September 24, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/1887/65370.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

schouten, J M. “Jewish Responses to Shylock: A Yiddish Translation of Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice'.” 2018. Web. 24 Sep 2018.

Vancouver:

schouten JM. Jewish Responses to Shylock: A Yiddish Translation of Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice'. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Leiden University; 2018. [cited 2018 Sep 24]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/65370.

Council of Science Editors:

schouten JM. Jewish Responses to Shylock: A Yiddish Translation of Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice'. [Masters Thesis]. Leiden University; 2018. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/65370

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