Jews in Europe

"Jews have feelings too!"

During the 15th to 16th century, Jews were isolated and put together in small urban areas in Europe called ghettos. Certain cultural characteristics of the Jews made them unique such as their beliefs and clothing. In general, Christian Europeans were not very fond of Jews and mistreated them. Christian views and stereotypes about Jews can be seen throughout Elizabethan literature.

Jewish Apparel

Back in the 16th and 17th century the Jews had some type of long robes from their neck area to the bottom of their feet. Jews also had long beards because traditionally the Jewish men grew full beards and long sideburns called peyote. Jews wore a kippah which is a thin rounded skullcap.

How Jews were treated

Jews were often mistreated because of their religion. They were forced to live in a separate area from the rest of the city. They were also forced to dress differently and were often segregated. They were also persecuted and tortured. Jews were treated unfairly during the 16th century.

Jews being demonized by Christians

In the 16th and 17th centuries for the Jews was that the Christians considered them as demonize which means wicked or threatening. They were accused of being associated with Elizabethan witches and assumed to have a pact with the devil so they tried to stay away from them and took more precautions.

Jews in Elizabethan Plays and Literature

In Elizabethan Era, Jews were portrayed in plays and literature according to Jewish stereotypes. For example in the Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare deceits the Jew as a money lender. During that time Jews were usually the accountants and money lenders so many of these stereotypes were derived from this.


"HISTORY OF JUDAISM." HISTORY OF JUDAISM. History World, n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2016.

Alchin, L.K. Queen Elizabeth I - Jews and Catholics. Elizabethan Era. May 16 2012. Web. 02 Feb. 2016.

Jones, Logan. The Treatment of Jews in 16th Century Venice. Prezi Inc. 6 May 2012. Web. 2 Feb. 2016.