The Merchant of Venice / Edition 2

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Overview

Charles Edelman focuses on the play's sexual politics and recent scholarship devoted to the position of Jews in Shakespeare's time in this new edition. He surveys the international scope of theatrical interpretations of The Merchant in the 1980s and 1990s as well as different ways of tackling the troubling figure of Shylock. First Edition Hb (1988): 0-521-22156-0 First Edition Pb (1988): 0-521-29371-5

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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
From the Publisher

"Handy, reliable, altogether excellent...with introductions that truly cover everything and notes that explain all that needs to be explained."--Bibliotheque d'Humanisme et Renaissance

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521825443
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Series: New Cambridge Shakespeare Series
  • Edition description: Updated edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (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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