Shakespeare and Venice is the first book length study to describe and chronicle the mythology of Venice that was formulated in the Middle Ages and has persisted in fiction and film to the present day. Graham Holderness focuses specifically on how that mythology was employed by Shakespeare to explore themes of conversion, change, and metamorphosis. Identifying and outlining the materials having to do with Venice which might have been available to Shakespeare, Holderness provides a full historical account of past and present Venetian myths and of the city's relationship with both Judaism and Islam. Holderness also provides detailed readings of both The Merchant of Venice and of Othello against these mythical and historical dimensions, and concludes with discussion of Venice's relevance to both the modern world and to the past.
Graham Holderness is Professor of English at the University of Hertfordshire, and author or editor of numerous studies in early modern and modern literature, drama and theology.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: 'This is Venice'; Renaissance Venice; Jew and Moor; Merchant and Jew of Venice; Moor and Whore of Venice; Shakespeare's Venice in fiction; Shakespeare's Venice on film; Conclusion: 'particularities'; Works cited; Index.