The Merchant of Venice (No Fear Shakespeare)

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For over four hundred years, in every country where Shakespeare's plays have been performed, The Merchant of Venice has aroused controversy and excitement. This edition is the first to offer a comprehensive account of the Merchant in performance. Charles Edelman's introduction challenges many of the myths and preconceptions associated with the play, and shows how historical events and cultural attitudes have shaped actors' interpretations and audience responses. The commentary, printed alongside the text, ...
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The Merchant of Venice (No Fear Shakespeare)

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Overview

For over four hundred years, in every country where Shakespeare's plays have been performed, The Merchant of Venice has aroused controversy and excitement. This edition is the first to offer a comprehensive account of the Merchant in performance. Charles Edelman's introduction challenges many of the myths and preconceptions associated with the play, and shows how historical events and cultural attitudes have shaped actors' interpretations and audience responses. The commentary, printed alongside the text, describes how different actors, directors and designers have approached each character and episode on stage, film and television, from the first performances in the 1590s to the present day. The extraordinary variety of The Merchant of Venice in production will give every reader new and different insights into one of Shakespeare's most powerful but troubling plays.

Presents the original text of Shakespeare's play side by side with a modern version, with marginal notes and explanations and full descriptions of each character.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Created by Harvard students for students everywhere, SparkNotes is a new breed of study guide: smarter, better, faster. Geared to what today's students need to know, SparkNotes provides chapter-by-chapter analysis; explanations of key themes, motifs, and symbols; and a review quiz and essay topics. Lively and accessible, these guides are perfect for late-night studying and writing papers.
Booknews
In addition to the text of the play itself, edited by David Benington, approximately contemporary texts fill in the cultural context of its creation and reception. They look at Venice, finance, and love and gender. The play was probably written in the middle or late 1590s, near the end of Elizabeth's reign; the texts span the 16th and 17th centuries. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Read an Excerpt

In The Merchant of Venice, the penniless but attractive Bassanio seeks, and finally wins, the hand of the fabulously wealthy Portia. But even as the play provokes laughter, it also provokes something disturbing, as Bassanio's courtship is actually financed by the magnificent villain Shylock the moneylender -- the focus of anti-Semitic sentiment, and one of the most controversial yet strangely sympathetic of Shakespeare's characters, whose actions and whose treatment in the play are still debated to this day.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
General editor's preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Shylock 25
2 The Venetians 44
3 The Problem of Launcelot Gobbo 67
4 Belmont 80
5 Shylock the Jew 106
6 The Trial 117
7 Belmont Revisited 145
App. 1 Production credits and cast lists 158
App. 2 Reviews cited 172
App. 3 Abbreviations 175
Bibliography 177
Index 179
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2006

    Awesome

    This book has greatly helped me with understanding Shakespeare's confusing literature. I found it is best to read the original text, try your best to understand, then read the modern text, and finally go back over the original text. I highly recommend this to anyone having difficulty with Shakespeare. It actually makes it interesting!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Merchant made new

    This was my first No Fear Shakespeare and I am going to get right back and buy more. How wonderful to find the door to understanding what this genius author wrote. Merchant had every element one loves to find in literature, understanding it broadens the horizons. Thanks!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2013

    waste

    waste

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2013

    Yet Another Shakespeare Book

    The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare is the story of a merchant named Bassiano, and his love, the heiress, Portia. This book also had a Jewish moneylender by the name of Shylock, and he has one of the most famous speeches about antisemitism ever written. This book also has the common phrase, "All that glitters is not gold." Although those parts of the play were interesting, it was still difficult to understand, there were many metaphors and analogies to ships and docks that I didn't understand, and it just had a dull ending. It was just, yet again, another Shakespeare book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Such a good and enticing book!

    The Mercant of Venice is such a great book. It's thrilling and has such a geat story line.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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