The Merchant of Venice (Dover Thrift Editions)

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9780486284927: The Merchant of Venice (Dover Thrift Editions)
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Tragicomic drama of love, wealth, and justice revolves around a Venetian moneylender's bargain with a young merchant for "a pound of flesh."

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Review:

"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. --Jerry Brotton

Review:

'The introduction and commentary reveal an author with a lively awareness of the importance of perceiving the play as a theatrical document, one which comes to life, which is completed only in performance ...' --The Review of English Studies

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780451526809: The Merchant of Venice (Signet Classic Shakespeare)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0451526805 ISBN 13: 9780451526809
Publisher: Signet Classics, 1998
Softcover

9788853015150: Reading & Training: The Merchant of Venice + audio Book: The Merchant of Venice + audio CD + App

Cideb, 2015
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9780143130222: The Merchant of Venice (Pelican Shakespeare)

Pengui..., 2017
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9780141396545: The Merchant of Venice (Penguin classics)

Pengui..., 2015
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9781903436035: "The Merchant of Venice" (The Arden Shakespeare) (Arden Shakespeare: Second Series)

The Ar..., 1964
Softcover

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Book Description Dover Publications Inc., United States, 1995. Paperback. Condition: New. New edition. Language: English. Brand new Book. The Merchant of Venice is an intriguing drama of love, greed, and revenge. At its heart, the play contrasts the characters of the maddened and vengeful Shylock, a Venetian moneylender, with the gracious, level-headed Portia, a wealthy young woman besieged by suitors. At the play's climax, Shylock insists on the enforcement of a binding contract that will cost the life of the merchant Antonio -- inciting Portia to mount a memorable defense.In this richly plotted drama, Shylock, whom Shakespeare endowed with all of the depth and vitality of his greatest characters, is not alone in his villainy. In scene after scene, a large cast of ambitious and scheming characters demonstrates that honesty is a quality often strained where matters of love and money are concerned.The gravity and suspense of the play's central plot, together with its romance, have made The Merchant of Venice a favorite of audiences, and one of the most studied and performed of Shakespeare's plays. It is reprinted here from an authoritative text, complete with explanatory footnotes. Seller Inventory # AAC9780486284927

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