The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice

Book - 2002
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In The Merchant of Venice , the path to marriage is hazardous. To win Portia, Bassanio must pass a test prescribed by her father's will, choosing correctly among three caskets or chests. If he fails, he may never marry at all.

Bassanio and Portia also face a magnificent villain, the moneylender Shylock. In creating Shylock, Shakespeare seems to have shared in a widespread prejudice against Jews. Shylock would have been regarded as a villain because he was a Jew. Yet he gives such powerful expression to his alienation due to the hatred around him that, in many productions, he emerges as the hero.

Portia is most remembered for her disguise as a lawyer, Balthazar, especially the speech in which she urges Shylock to show mercy that "droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven."

The authoritative edition of The Merchant of Venice from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes:

-Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play

-Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently placed on pages facing the text of the play

-Scene-by-scene plot summaries

-A key to the play's famous lines and phrases

-An introduction to reading Shakespeare's language

-An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play

-Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library's vast holdings of rare books

-An up-to-date annotated guide to further reading

Essay by Alexander Leggatt

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Pocket Books, [2002], c1992
Edition: Washington Square Press New Folger ed. --
ISBN: 9780743477567
0743477561
Branch Call Number: PB 822.33 P3 3564
Characteristics: xlix, 237 p. :,ill., map. --

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Mar 04, 2017

Literature is honestly so underrated sometimes. I do find that with reading Shakespeare, it can be difficult to understand/keep up with the play, especially in a timed setting such as a school classroom. If more people took works like this for what they were, and not "difficult works that modern people don't get", there would be so much more positivity and credit given to where it rightfully is deserved. Sometimes though, explaining things (like jokes) ruins its meaning and intent. The same works for this play. It is very elaborate in the way that its four plots (casket, bond, ring, and elopement) connect together. The story flows fluently, and the characters are all uniquely their own. This is truly a work of art. 4.5/5 stars
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

I was forced to read this play in grade nine as part of the English curriculum. To be honest, it took some time for me to truly appreciate and understand the Merchant of Venice. After all, Shakespeare writes in a completely different “language.” Fortunately, I got my hands on a copy of this play translated into modern day text.  After that, I developed a deeper understanding of the characters and the story line. It surprised me that a female character, Portia, was given such an important role, since the play was written in a time where women were uneducated and had little influence on society. By now our culture, beliefs and social norms have changed drastically. So to be able to interpret this play in the 21st century was something that I enjoyed. 
- @Vaseline of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

This is a play written by William Shakespeare. This was during the16th century when Jewish people were looked down upon from Christian people. I really liked this play. It was easy to understand because I read the English translation to it. It's a play about love, friendship, revenge, and prejudice. I thought I wasn't going to like reading this play but it turned out to be really good. Some of the main characters are Shylock, Portia, Bassani, and Antonio. Shylock is a Jew and pretty much everyone else are Christians. The prejudice in this book is somewhat similar to the prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This play was fun to read and if you never read Shakespeare, then I definitely suggest you to read this play first. 5/5 stars.
- @AquafinaAstro of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

s
sigridmac
Mar 14, 2012

Marvellous play! And the modern-day translation was a lifesaver.

p
phuong_nguyen00
Aug 18, 2011

Wonder what this would be like...

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