Gollum Is the Shylock of ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Readers of The Lord of the Rings aren’t really supposed to root for Gollum. 

But if, like me, you’re Jewish, you might be tempted to cheer him on when he gets his teeth into the hand that feeds him, and bites down hard. 

What does Gollum have to do with being Jewish, you ask? 

Well, he’s an antisemitic caricature. 

Like stereotypical Jews, Gollum is driven by greed. And like stereotypical Jews, he is twisted, thin, and ugly, with distorted outsize facial features. 

The antisemitism here is in the tropes; Tolkien almost certainly didn’t intend Gollum to be an antisemitic statement. 

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