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Why Read Shakespeare?

Shakespeare's Language

Regarding Coinages
Note: the Oxford English Dictionary is the source for first usage attributions, but this does not mean that a word was not already in use when Shakespeare used it in a play, only that the OED researcher found it first published in his works.  See Merriam-Webster blog:


On Shakespeare's Works

Search the library catalog by title
Browse the shelves!  Did you know Shakespeare is the only topic to have a dewey decimal number all to itself? 822.33

Life in Shakespeare's England

"If you prick us, do we not bleed?" -- Shylock in The Merchant of Venice

Jewish History: Elizabethan Era

Oxford Jewish Heritage labels 1290-1655 the period of Exclusion (when Jews were not allowed in England,) and discusses the many exceptions to this rule, and the perils of falling afoul of 16th century attitudes and politics. Note the mention of "a Sephardic Jew, Rodrigo Lopez, often quoted as the inspiration for Shylock, (in "The Merchant of Venice,") [who] served as the court physician to Queen Elizabeth."

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