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The Merchant of Venice

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The Merchant of Venice is an intriguing drama of love, greed and revenge. At its heart, the play contrasts the characters of the maddened and vengeful Shylock, a Venetian moneylender, with the gracious, level-headed Portia, a wealthy young woman besieged by suitors. At the play's climax, Shylock insists that a binding contract be enforced which will cost the life of the merchant Antonio. Pleading Antonio's case before the Duke of Venice, Portia shrewdly defeats Shylock's evil ...
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The Merchant of Venice

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Overview

The Merchant of Venice is an intriguing drama of love, greed and revenge. At its heart, the play contrasts the characters of the maddened and vengeful Shylock, a Venetian moneylender, with the gracious, level-headed Portia, a wealthy young woman besieged by suitors. At the play's climax, Shylock insists that a binding contract be enforced which will cost the life of the merchant Antonio. Pleading Antonio's case before the Duke of Venice, Portia shrewdly defeats Shylock's evil purpose.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The introduction and commentary reveal an author with a lively awareness of the importance of perceiving the play as a theatrical document, one which comes to life, which is completed only in performance." The Review of English Studies
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780460871808
  • Publisher: Everyman Paperback
  • Publication date: 7/28/1993
  • Series: Everyman Shakespeare
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 227
  • Product dimensions: 5.09 (w) x 7.77 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) - 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613 at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories and these works remain regarded as some the best work produced in these genres even today. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.

Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two friends and fellow actors of Shakespeare, published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's. It was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Shakespeare is hailed, presciently, as "not of an age, but for all time."

Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the 19th century.

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Table of Contents

Introduction, with new section on recent critical and stage interpretations by Charles Edelman; Note on the text; List of characters; The play; Supplementary note; Textual analysis; Appendix: Shakespeare's use of the Bible in The Merchant of Venice; Reading list.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2000

    Great play by Shakespeare

    As an eighth grader, I think this is a great book. It may seem a little confusing to a few people, but it's just a great play! Shakespeare's characters are very entertaining. Shylock's a VERY talkative, vengeful Jew while Portia is an intelligent princess who can easily beat Bassanio with her wit! Also, to me, I guess it was obvious to see that the lead chest contained Portia's picture! Right?! The Merchant of Venice has its funny moments as well as its tragic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

    Arghhhh there id d Ahhhhhhhh there is soo much old english used in it.

    I dont like it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2013

    Decent

    It's gorgeously written, of course, but I didn't much care for any of the major characters and found it a bit tedious. I came upon it as I had to read it for school (which didn't help); but I tremendously prefer King Lear or even The Tempest, which are more complex, less predictable, and more satisfying reads. However, MOV is still worth a read. Also, check out the 2004 movie, which provides better context.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    faulty

    Act I scene ii. I keep getting kicked out from both nook study and my nookcolor around page 23. Don't know if it's a problem with the file or what but I needed this for class and this isn't cutting it. I haven't had a problem with the Midsummer Night's Dream Folger edition though.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    Arg

    I was very confused, the no fear book made much more sense. The only helpful thing was the various criticisms.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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