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The Merchant of Venice By William Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare

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£1.79
Bassanio, a feckless young Venetian, asks his wealthy friend, the merchant Antonio, for money to finance a trip to woo the beautiful Portia in Belmont. Reluctant to refuse his friend, Antonio borrows the money from Shylock, the Jewish moneylender. If he reneges on the deal, Shylock jokingly demands a pound of his flesh.
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The Merchant of Venice Summary


The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

'Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?' Shylock's impassioned plea in the middle of "The Merchant of Venice" is one of its most dramatic moments. After the Holocaust, the play has become a battleground for those who argue that the play represents Shakespeare's ultimate statement against ignorance and anti-Semitism in favour of a liberal vision of tolerance and multiculturalism. Other critics have pointed out that the play is, after all, a comedy that ultimately pokes fun at a 16th-century Jew. In fact, the bare outline of the plot suggests that the play is far more complex than either of these characterisations. Bassanio, a feckless young Venetian, asks his wealthy friend, the merchant Antonio, for money to finance a trip to woo the beautiful Portia in Belmont. Reluctant to refuse his friend (to whom he professes intense love), Antonio borrows the money from the Jewish moneylender. If he reneges on the deal, Shylock jokingly demands a pound of his flesh. When all Antonio's ships are lost at sea, Shylock calls in his debt, and the love and laughter of the first scenes of the play threaten to give way to death and tragedy. The final climactic courtroom scene, complete with a cross-dressed Portia, a knife-wielding Shylock, and the debate on 'the quality of mercy' is one of the great dramatic moments in Shakespeare. The controversial subject matter of the play ensures that it continues to repel, divide but also fascinate its many audiences.

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About William Shakespeare


William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright of the 16th and 17 centuries, now widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the word's pre-eminent dramatist.

Additional information

GOR000599976
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
Used - Very Good
Paperback
Penguin Books Ltd
1994-05-26
128
0140620826
9780140620825
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.