The Merchant of Venice (No Fear Shakespeare)

The Merchant of Venice (No Fear Shakespeare)


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For over four hundred years, in every country where Shakespeare's plays have been performed, The Merchant of Venice has aroused controversy and excitement. This edition is the first to offer a comprehensive account of the Merchant in performance. Charles Edelman's introduction challenges many of the myths and preconceptions associated with the play, and shows how historical events and cultural attitudes have shaped actors' interpretations and audience responses. The commentary, printed alongside the text, describes how different actors, directors and designers have approached each character and episode on stage, film and television, from the first performances in the 1590s to the present day. The extraordinary variety of The Merchant of Venice in production will give every reader new and different insights into one of Shakespeare's most powerful but troubling plays.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781411400511
Publisher: SparkNotes
Publication date: 07/03/2003
Series: No Fear Shakespeare Series
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 7.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Widely esteemed as the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare (1564-1616) was an actor and theatrical producer in addition to writing plays and sonnets. Dubbed "The Bard of Avon," Shakespeare oversaw the building of the Globe Theatre in London, where a number of his plays were staged, the best-known of which include Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Macbeth. The First Folio, a printed book of 36 of his comedies, tragedies, and history plays, was published in 1623.

Date of Death:


Place of Birth:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Place of Death:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Read an Excerpt

In The Merchant of Venice, the penniless but attractive Bassanio seeks, and finally wins, the hand of the fabulously wealthy Portia. But even as the play provokes laughter, it also provokes something disturbing, as Bassanio's courtship is actually financed by the magnificent villain Shylock the moneylender -- the focus of anti-Semitic sentiment, and one of the most controversial yet strangely sympathetic of Shakespeare's characters, whose actions and whose treatment in the play are still debated to this day.

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsviii
Series editors' prefaceix
Editor's notexiii
List of abbreviationsxiv
List of productionsxvi
List of characters94
The Merchant of Venice and commentary95
Appendix 1263
Appendix 2265

Customer Reviews

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The Merchant of Venice No Fear Shakespeare Series) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has greatly helped me with understanding Shakespeare's confusing literature. I found it is best to read the original text, try your best to understand, then read the modern text, and finally go back over the original text. I highly recommend this to anyone having difficulty with Shakespeare. It actually makes it interesting!
Finngal More than 1 year ago
This was my first No Fear Shakespeare and I am going to get right back and buy more. How wonderful to find the door to understanding what this genius author wrote. Merchant had every element one loves to find in literature, understanding it broadens the horizons. Thanks!
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emma-bear_ More than 1 year ago
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare is the story of a merchant named Bassiano, and his love, the heiress, Portia. This book also had a Jewish moneylender by the name of Shylock, and he has one of the most famous speeches about antisemitism ever written. This book also has the common phrase, "All that glitters is not gold." Although those parts of the play were interesting, it was still difficult to understand, there were many metaphors and analogies to ships and docks that I didn't understand, and it just had a dull ending. It was just, yet again, another Shakespeare book.
LGHPixie More than 1 year ago
The Mercant of Venice is such a great book. It's thrilling and has such a geat story line.