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Word Count: 500
In Susan Pharrs The Common Elements of Oppression she defines the other as the outcast of society the ones who stand up for what they believe in no matter how against the grain it may be the ones who try the hardest to earn acceptance yet never receive it In Shakespeares Merchant of Venice Shylock the villain is portrayed as the other simply because of his faith because he is Jewish in a predominantly Christian society One way that Shylock is classified as the other was by being stripped of his name Throughout the play Shylock was very seldom referred to by name in the trial scene the Duke identifies him by name twice and Portia does so once During the rest of the play Shylock is usually referred to as the Jew dog Jew II viii 14 and currish Jew IV i 292 Throughout the play Shylock was often reduced to something other than Human In many cases even the simple title of Jew was stripped away and Shylock was not a man but an animal For example Gratiano curses Shylock with O be thou damned inexecrable dog IV i 128 whose currish spirit governd a wolf IV i 133-134 and whose desires are wolvish bloody starved and ravenous IV i 137-138 Or when Shylock is neither a man nor an animal he becomes a stony adversary inhuman wretch IV i 4-5 When the Christians applied these labels to Shylock they effectively stripped him of his humanity of his religious identity he was reduced to something other than human The Christians also labeled Shylock as explicitly equated with the Devil which in a primarily Christian society left Shylock as the other For example in II ii 24-28 Launcelot Gobbo identifies Shylock as a kind of devil the devil himself and the very devil incarnation Shylocks own daughter compared Shylocks house to hell II iii 2 Salanio identifies Shylock as the devilin the likeness of
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