Contemporary Applications and Interpretation
The issues raised in Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice are of perennial interest. Not only the problems of anti-Semitism and racism, but those relating to the position of women in society, the quest for a mate, male friendships, and the rise of capitalism continue to preoccupy us today. Though a good deal of progress has been made in at least ameliorating some of the problems, many are far from being solved in a fully satisfactory way.
Despite the enormity of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews perished in Europe under the Nazis, anti-Semitism continues today. Some groups deny that the holocaust actually happened. Oth7 ers uphold Adolf Hitler as a hero, preach his racist propaganda of the master race, and follow his example by engaging in violence and terrorism against Jews and other minorities, such as blacks in America and elsewhere, and Turks in Germany. Jewish cemeteries are desecrated, synagogues bombed or defaced, children attacked and shot in day-care centers. Organizations such as the so-called World Church of the Creator strongly advocate white supremacy.