A Routledge Literary Sourcebook on William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice / Edition 1

A Routledge Literary Sourcebook on William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice / Edition 1

by S.P. Cerasano
Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis

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A Routledge Literary Sourcebook on William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice / Edition 1

With Shylock's pound of flesh and Portia's golden ring,The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's most controversial, disturbing and unforgettable plays.
Combining accessible commentary with a range of reprinted materials, S. P. Cerasano:
*explores the contexts of the play, including early modern images of Venice, the commercialism of the play, Shakespeare's theatre and London, and images of Jewishness
*samples modern criticism of Shakespeare's Merchant, grouped into sections on The Economic Framework, Choosing and Risking, and Shylock and Other Strangers
*offers an invaluable discussion of the play in performance, considering crucial staging issues and changing interpretations of the roles of Portia and Shylock
*closely examines key passages of the work, providing both commentary and extensively annotated sections of play text
*prepares readers for additional study of the play with a useful guide to further reading.
Assuming no prior knowledge of the play, this sourcebook is the essential guide to one of the most haunting works of English drama.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415240529
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 02/19/2004
Series: Routledge Guides to Literature Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 855,132
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsix
Series Editor's Prefacex
Contextual Overview7
Venice: Myth and Reality7
Mercantile Culture12
Jews in Venice and London15
The Commercial Playhouse17
Shakespeare's Play and the Theatre: Risking, Venturing and Exchanging19
Historical Contexts27
The Commercial Playhouse27
From Philip Henslowe, Rose Playhouse Receipts (1591)27
From Philip Henslowe, Players' Bonds (1598)29
Venice and Venetian Life32
From Jan Morris, 'Islanders' (1993)32
From W. D. Howells, 'The Ghetto and the Jews of Venice' (1866)35
From Peter Berek, 'The Jew as Renaissance Man' (1998)36
Merchants, Capitalism and the Controversy over Usury38
From Daniel Price, 'The Merchant: A Sermon Preached at Paul's Cross on Sunday the 24th of August Being the Day before Bartholomew Fair. 1607' (1608)38
From Alberto Tenenti, 'The Merchant and the Banker' (1991)40
From Thomas Wilson, A Discourse upon Usury (1572)42
From Francis Bacon, 'Of Usury' (1625)44
Virtuous Women and Learned Ladies46
From Edwin Sandys, 'Sermon Sixteen: A Sermon Preached at a Marriage in Strausborough' (1585)46
From Juan Luis Vives, The Instruction of a Christen Woman (1529)49
Critical History55
The Early Critical Tradition56
Modern Criticism58
Early Critical Reception64
From Nicholas Rowe, Some Account of the Life, &c. of Mr. William Shakespear (1709)64
From Samuel Johnson, The Plays of William Shakespeare (1765)65
From John Potter, The Theatrical Review; or, New Companion to the Play-House (1772)69
From George Colman, Prose on Several Occasions (1787)70
From Nathan Drake, Shakespeare and His Times (1817)71
From William Hazlitt, The Round Table; Characters of Shakespear's Plays (1817)73
From Elmer Edgar Stoll, 'Shylock' (1927)75
From Harley Granville-Barker, Prefaces to Shakespeare (1948)76
Modern Criticism79
The Economic Framework79
From Walter Cohen, 'The Merchant of Venice and the Possibilities of Historical Criticism' (1982)79
From Kim Hall, 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Colonisation and Miscegenation in The Merchant of Venice' (1992)80
From Leonard Tennenhouse, 'The Counterfeit Order of The Merchant of Venice' (1991)82
From Karen Newman, 'Portia's Ring: Unruly Women and Structures of Exchange in The Merchant of Venice' (1987)84
From Lynda E. Boose, 'The Comic Contract and Portia's Golden Ring' (1988)86
Choosing and Risking88
From Joan Ozark Holmer, The Merchant of Venice: Choice, Hazard and Consequence (1995)88
From Catherine Belsey, 'Love in Venice' (1992)90
Shylock and Other Strangers91
From John Drakakis, 'Historical Difference and Venetian Patriarchy' (1996)91
From James Shapiro, 'Shakespeare and the Jews' (1992)93
From Alan Sinfield, 'How to Read The Merchant of Venice Without Being Heterosexist' (1996)95
The Work in Performance97
Shakespeare's Theatre97
Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-century Productions99
The Merchant in the Nineteenth Century100
Twentieth-century Trends101
The Merchant in Germany103
The Merchant in Japan108
The Yiddish Theatre Production (1901)110
Elements of Design/Elements of Meaning110
Key Moments114
Differing Portias and Varied Venetians116
The Merchant of Venice on Film117
The Debate about Portia119
Mervyn Rothstein, Portia: Loved and Hated (1990)119
Sinead Cusack, Love and Mercy on Trial: Playing Portia (1985)120
Three Shylocks122
Ian McDiarmid, Preparing to Perform: Shylock via Venice and Israel (1988)122
Patrick Stewart, Shylock as 'Homo Economicus' (1985)123
James C. Bulman, Antony Sher's Offensive Shylock: 1987 (1991)125
Staging Issues126
Gregory Doran, A Director Defines his Production (1987)126
Miriam Gilbert, Presenting the Venetians: Antonio and Bassanio (2002)127
Robert Smallwood, Exiting the Stage (1996)128
3Key Passages
List of Key Passages135
Key Passages139
Dramatis Personae139
Act 1, Scene 1, lines 1-57 and 118-84140
Act 1, Scene 2, lines 19-110146
Act 1, Scene 3, lines 32-174150
Act 2, Scene 1, lines 1-31157
Act 2, Scene 7, lines 1-79159
Act 2, Scene 9, lines 30-83164
Act 3, Scene 1, lines 40-103167
Act 3, Scene 2, lines 40-214170
Act 4, Scene 1, lines 169-396177
Act 5, Scene 1, lines 161-307188
4Further Reading
Recommended Editions199
Historical Background200
Literary Criticism201
Production History202
Sound Recordings204

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