Christmas Delivery | Want Free Shipping in time for Christmas? Order by midday on 16th December (UK only)
The Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare
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.
'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.
Why buy from World of Books
Our excellent value books literally don't cost the earth
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.
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
Used - Very Good
Penguin Books Ltd
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.