Positioning Jewish Character in World Narration

Rashad Mohammed Moqbel Al Areqi


The Jewish character has passed in a variety of transformations through different stages of history. The study explores the position of Jewish character in the world narration, how the Arabs depict the contemporary Jewish character in their literary works compared to the Western/Christian community and their attributes in the Nobel Quran. The Jewish character becomes in a position of concern for the world writers during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The Jewish character has occupied a large part of writing, particularly in the area of narratives. Is there a difference between the past writers and the contemporary ones in addressing the Jewish character in the literary works? The focus is on some selective contemporary Arabic narratives: Ali Al Muqri’s The Handsome Jew (2009) and Ala Al Aswani’s Chicago (2007), in addition to Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Vince and Christopher Marlow’s The Jew of Malta as presented the Jew character in the Elizabethan era. The study of the narratives, whether the past or the contemporary ones, revealed the Jewish character as greedy, opportunistic, intolerant, arrogant if they are powerful, and humble if they are weak, obsessed by love of money, dealing with usury, revengeful, keeping no promises, stubborn, full of hate and spite for the community and easy to embrace a new religion for safety or love as Al Muqri’s Salem, Shakespeare’s Shylock, and Marlowe’s Abigal. Further, the narratives showed the second generation of Arabs/ Muslims and Jews in mutual understanding, tolerance, forgiving, and attempting to find common ground to build the bridges of trust and love. They work on normalizing the relations with each other. However, they found themselves social outcasts, hybrid, living in between and the third space, suffering from problematic of identity as Saeed and his son, Ibrahim, the hybrids in Al Muqri’s The Handsome Jew.


Jew, Identity, Problematic, Handsome, Chicago, Muslim, Hybrid

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.9n.2p.32


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