restricted access Jews, Scots, and Pigs in The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice is another of Shakespeare’s Scottish plays in that its examination of Jewishness is simultaneously an examination of Scottishness. The threats of Judaism and Judaizing to the Venetian corporate body find stark echoes in the debates about English and Scottish hegemony during the waning years of Elizabeth’s life. The Merchant of Venice uses pork, among many other tropes, in order to explore this double problem of Jews and Scots. Its anatomy of a contemporary crisis of secession leads us to an entirely new reading of the play’s political, cultural, culinary, and religious stakes.