The Merchant of Venice (Oxford School Shakespeare Series)by William Shakespeare, Roma Gill (Editor)
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.
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.
Meet the Author
Widely esteemed as the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an actor and theatrical producer in addition to writing plays and sonnets. Dubbed "The Bard of Avon," Shakespeare oversaw the building of the Globe Theatre in London, where a number of his plays were staged, the best-known of which include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth. The First Folio, a printed book of 36 of his comedies, tragedies, and history plays, was published in 1623.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews