The Merchant of Venice (Modern Library Royal Shakespeare Company Series)

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Overview

As the citizens of Venice compete for advantageous marriages, wealth, and status, a moneylender is intent on deadly revenge. Mistrust and resentment thrive in Shakespeare’s dark comedy.

Under the editorial supervision of Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, two of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, this Modern Library series incorporates definitive texts and authoritative notes from William Shakespeare: Complete Works. Each play includes an Introduction as well as an...

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The Merchant of Venice (Modern Library Royal Shakespeare Company Series)

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Overview

As the citizens of Venice compete for advantageous marriages, wealth, and status, a moneylender is intent on deadly revenge. Mistrust and resentment thrive in Shakespeare’s dark comedy.

Under the editorial supervision of Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, two of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, this Modern Library series incorporates definitive texts and authoritative notes from William Shakespeare: Complete Works. Each play includes an Introduction as well as an overview of Shakespeare’s theatrical career; commentary on past and current productions based on interviews with leading directors, actors, and designers; scene-by-scene analysis; key facts about the work; a chronology of Shakespeare’s life and times; and black-and-white illustrations.

Ideal for students, theater professionals, and general readers, these modern and accessible editions from the Royal Shakespeare Company set a new standard in Shakespearean literature for the twenty-first century.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in April 1564, and his birth is traditionally celebrated on April 23. The facts of his life, known from surviving documents, are sparse. He was one of eight children born to John Shakespeare, a merchant of some standing in his community. William probably went to the King’s New School in Stratford, but he had no university education. In November 1582, at the age of eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway, eight years his senior, who was pregnant with their first child, Susanna. She was born on May 26, 1583. Twins, a boy, Hamnet ( who would die at age eleven), and a girl, Judith, were born in 1585. By 1592 Shakespeare had gone to London working as an actor and already known as a playwright. A rival dramatist, Robert Greene, referred to him as “an upstart crow, beautified with our feathers.” Shakespeare became a principal shareholder and playwright of the successful acting troupe, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men (later under James I, called the King’ s Men). In 1599 the Lord Chamberlain’s Men built and occupied the Globe Theater in Southwark near the Thames River. Here many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed by the most famous actors of his time, including Richard Burbage, Will Kempe, and Robert Armin. In addition to his 37 plays, Shakespeare had a hand in others, including Sir Thomas More and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and he wrote poems, including Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece. His 154 sonnets were published, probably without his authorization, in 1609. In 1611 or 1612 he gave up his lodgings in London and devoted more and more time to retirement in Stratford, though he continued writing such plays as The Tempest and Henry VII until about 1613. He died on April 23 1616, and was buried in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford. No collected edition of his plays was published during his life-time, but in 1623 two members of his acting company, John Heminges and Henry Condell, put together the great collection now called the First Folio.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 42 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2014

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

    I dont like it

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  • 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.

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  • 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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