‘Jewish’ Shakespeare Stands Out

jewish shakespeareThough the picture below is the one all of us with remedial high school English associate with the Bard, it’s this sexy top one that has been decided as the “prime contender for the exalted position of authentic lifetime portrait of William Shakespeare.”

That’s fancyspeak for this is what the dude really looked like. Probably.

However, a critic named J.H. Friswell, writing in 1864, disagreed:

“One cannot readily imagine our essentially English Shakespeare to have been a dark, heavy man, with a foreign expression, of decidedly Jewish physiognomy, thin curly hair, a somewhat lubricious mouth, red-edged eyes, wanton lips, with a coarse expression and his ears tricked out with earrings.”

droeshoutWell, Mr. Frizzy, as part of London’s National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition, “Searching for Shakespeare,” the hot, pierced Jewish-looking Shakespeare (also known as the Chandos portrait) beat out five other representations, including the ever-popular Droeshout engraving (heretofore to be referred to as the “Shaygetz Shakespeare.”)

Speaking of Shakesperean Jews, has anyone caught Al Pacino as “The Merchant of Venice” on DVD yet?

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