"The pound of flesh and the choice of the casket are the two themes, which make "The Merchant of Venice" memorable, and somewhat mystifying. For, in spite of the drama of Shylock's aborted revenge against his persecutors, the play is a comedy, and a romantic one at that, as the fifth act makes clear. The play was probably written in 1596. For it, Shakespeare borrowed from his own play, "The Two Gentlemen of Verona", the scene where Portia and Nerissa discuss the suitors, for the same listing of points of wooers is in the latter play between Julia and Lucetta; and Launcelot Gobbo is a reincarnation of Launce." - G.B. Harrison, Editor of texts for the Shakespeare Recording Society.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Great pains have been taken to follow Shakespeare's intentions with regard to the act and scene division and the exact form of speech. The editing has been done from the quarto or folio texts, depending on which considered more authoritative, and the ideal has been to reproduce the chosen texts with as few alterations as possible. In order to help the reader and student, the annotations have been arranged on the relevant pages, providing an easily accessible and indispensable source of information.About the Author:
William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest playwright the world has seen. He produced an astonishing amount of work; 37 plays, 154 sonnets, and 5 poems. He died on 23rd April 1616, aged 52, and was buried in the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford.
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