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The Merchant of Venice


The Merchant of Venice
  • Author : William Shakespeare
  • Publisher : Cambridge University Press
  • Release : 2003-05-01
  • ISBN : 9781139835251
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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The Merchant of Venice has been performed more often than any other comedy by Shakespeare. Molly Mahood pays special attention to the expectations of the play's first audience, and to our modern experience of seeing and hearing the play. In a substantial new addition to the Introduction, Charles Edelman focuses on the play's sexual politics and recent scholarship devoted to the position of Jews in Shakespeare's time. He surveys the international scope and diversity of theatrical interpretations of The Merchant in the 1980s and 1990s and their different ways of tackling the troubling figure of Shylock.

Merchant of Venice


Merchant of Venice
  • Author : William SHAKESPEARE
  • Publisher :
  • Release : 2018-09-04
  • ISBN : 1720070725
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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The Merchant of Venice was first printed in 1600 in quarto, of which nineteen copies survive. This was followed by a 1619 printing, and later an inclusion in the First Folio in 1623. The play was written shortly after Christopher Marlowe's immensely popular Jew of Malta (1589), a play wherein a Jew named Barabas plays a greatly exaggerated villain. The portrayal of Shakespeare's Jew was and remained comic until the late 1700s at which time he was first played as a true villain. In 1814 Shylock's role was depicted as a character to be pitied, and in 1879 he was first portrayed as a tragic character. Subsequent interpretations have varied greatly over the years, but since World War II he has most often been conceived of as tragic.The Merchant of Venice has been described as a great commentary on the nature of racial and religious interactions. The title itself is misleading, and is often misconstrued as a reference to Shylock, the Jew. However, in reality it describes the merchant Antonio. This ambiguity and misinterpretation has not surprisingly led scholars to continue hotly debating whether Shakespeare meant to be anti-Semitic or critical of anti-Semitism. His depiction of Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, causes the audience to both hate and pity the man, and has left critics wondering what Shakespeare was really trying to achieve.The choice of Venice can hardly have been arbitrary. The Venice of Shakespeare's day was renowned for its wealth and diversity of cultures, for it was a cosmopolitan market where Eastern goods made their way into the West. Since Shakespeare's interactions with Jews in England would have been limited, if at all, Venice provided him with the example of tolerance and heterogeneity that he needed.It is interesting to note that the Christians are portrayed as being an incredibly tight, commonly bound group. Antonio rushes to grant Bassanio a loan, even though it will bankrupt him. A similar example occurs later when Graziano asks Bassanio for a favor, which is granted before Bassanio even knows exactly what Graziano is asking for. However, this central community of Christians, with all of its virtue and decency, is immediately subverted by the prodigal loss of the money by Bassanio. While it may be virtuous for Antonio to give all he has to his friend, it is clear to the audience that it is foolish for him to give to a friend who will gamble it away.In addition, the Christian's generosity and friendship is further undermined by the racism so apparent in their actions. Antonio is proud of the fact that he kicks and spits upon Shylock, while Portia is overjoyed when the black Prince of Morocco fails to choose the correct casket, saying, "Let all of his complexion choose me so" (2.7.79). The Christian ideals are not only undermined by this racism, this inherent distaste for anyone different from themselves, but also by their hypocrisy with respect to slavery. When the Christians exhort Shylock to release Antonio, he asks them why Antonio should be treated differently from their slaves, considering that he was bought by Shylock via the contract. Shakespeare thus plants doubt as to whether the Christians' kindness to each other is in fact as great a virtue as it would at first appear.

The Merchant of Venice


The Merchant of Venice
  • Author : John W. Mahon
  • Publisher : Psychology Press
  • Release : 2002
  • ISBN : 0415929997
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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Four hundred years after its first performance, The Merchant of Venice continues to draw audiences, spark debate, and elicit controversy. This collection of new essays examines the performance and study of Shakespeare's play from a broad range of contemporary critical approaches. The contributors, drawn from four continents, build upon recent scholarship in new historicism, feminism, performance theory, and postcolonial studies to present new perspectives on the play, and offer fresh insights into its critical legacy on stage and as a literary text. A substantial introductory essay provides important historical context and surveys major critical approaches to the play over the centuries. This volume is an essential companion to The Merchant of Venice and a significant contribution to Shakespearean criticism.

The Merchant of Venice


The Merchant of Venice
  • Author : William Shakespeare
  • Publisher : Wordsworth Editions
  • Release : 2000
  • ISBN : 1840224312
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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Although generally considered a comedy, this play has an underlying plot of considerable moral dimension. The three main characters, Antonio, the prosperous merchant, Shylock, the reviled usurer and the heiress Portia, are portrayed in ways untypical of Elizabethan norms.

The Merchant of Venice


The Merchant of Venice
  • Author : James C. Bulman
  • Publisher : Manchester University Press
  • Release : 1991
  • ISBN : 0719027462
  • Language : En, Es, Fr & De
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Examines how directors have dealt with the problem of anti-semitism in staging Shakespeare's play over the past century, with a review of an Elizabethan performance as comparison. Among the seven productions considered are the 1970 Miller/Olivier, the 1987 Alexander/Sher, and two televised versions. Distributed in the US by St. Martin's. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR