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Masculinity, Anti-Semitism and Early Modern English Literature: From the Satanic to the Effeminate Jew

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Overview

Offering a profound re-assessment of the conceptual, rhetorical, and cultural intersections among sexuality, race and religion in English Renaissance texts, this study argues that anti-Semitism is a by-product of tensions between received Classical conceptions of masculinity and Christianity's strident critique of that ideal. Utilizing works by Shakespeare, Milton, Marlowe and others, Biberman illustrates how modern anti-Semitism develops as a way to stigmatize hypermasculine behavior, thus facilitating the transformation of the culture's gender ideal from knight to businessman. Subsequently, the function of anti-Semitic image changes from Jew-Devil to Jew-Sissy. Biberman traces this shift's repercussions, both in Renaissance culture and what followed it.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 'His stones, his daughter, and his ducats' : the Jew-devil, the Jew-sissy and the theo-sexual matrix 7
2 'Madam rabbi' : representations of Jewish women in English Renaissance drama 49
3 'By thee adulterous lust was driv'n from men' : Donne, Milton and the rise of the Jew-sissy 71
4 'She proving false, the next I took to wife' : divorce law and violence in Jonson, Cary and Milton 101
5 'He is imitating nobody, and he is inimitable' : T. S. Eliot and the antisemitic aesthetics of the Milton controversy 121
6 'When King Laugh come he make them all dance' : the gothic reconstitution of the Jew-devil 147
App Theories of antisemitism 193
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