Merchant of Venice, The

Folger Library


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Author(s): Shakespeare, William
Editor: Mowat & Werstine (eds.), Barbara A. and Paul
Page Length: 237 pgs
Copyright: 1992
Weight: 0.30 lbs.
Item Code: 202819
ISBN: 9780743477567
ISBN-10: 0743477561

Undoubtedly one of Shakespeare's darkest comedies, The Merchant of Venice continues to amuse and trouble readers more than four hundred years after its premiere. It is a story of love, friendship, money, revenge, and justice tempered with mercy. While the beauty of the poetry and the drama of the courtroom scene are notable, what impresses readers most is the humanity with which Shakespeare imbues his villain, the vengeance-filled Shylock. In Elizabethan England, the stock character of the Jewish moneylender was a stereotypical, one-dimensional villain. He was a comic, but sometimes-sinister figure. Shakespeare takes this cardboard caricature and endows him with such humanity and pain that readers must question whether the "justice" Shylock receives is warranted.

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