Allusions to the Talmud in Salkinson's Translation of Shakespeare's Othello, the Moor of Venice

A. Magence, R. Weissbrod

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Researchers dealing with Hebrew translations of the Enlightenment period pointed out that the main or exclusive origin of their language, idioms and allusions was the Bible. This generalization was also applied to the translations of Yitzhak Edward Salkinson, including his translation of Shakespeare's Othello, the Moor of Venice, even though some researchers marked his uniqueness in relation to other translators of this time. In this article, we shall shed light on an aspect of his translation that has not attracted attention in previous research, namely his massive use of the Mishna and Talmud in ways that contribute to the meaning of the text and therefore cannot be dismissed as mere coincidence. To prove our point, we shall analyze allusions to the Mishna and Talmud from different parts of the play. Calling attention to these allusions will lead to a re-valuation of Salkinson's translation and will make it possible to present a more holistic picture of his work. Theoretically, our research is grounded in Translation Studies and follows a target-oriented approach which is interested in allusions whether or not they derive from the source-text. Such an approach is particularly fitting when one deals with a translation which is an artistic creation in its own right and its connections with Jewish sources take it far away from its Shakespearean source. To explain our findings, we shall refer to Salkinson's unique biography and its three main stages – a yeshiva illui, a maskil and a convert.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2016
EventILASH (Israel Association of Applied Linguistics) 43th Conference - Israel Association of Applied Linguistics, Tel Aviv, Israel
Duration: 25 Oct 201625 Oct 2016


ConferenceILASH (Israel Association of Applied Linguistics) 43th Conference
CityTel Aviv


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