William Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice

ISBN 13: 9781907360121

The Merchant of Venice

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The Merchant of Venice is perhaps most associated not with its titular hero, Antonio, but with the complex figure of the money-lender, Shylock. The play was described as a comedy in the First Folio but its modern audiences find it more problematic to categorize. The vilification of Shylock 'the Jew' can be very uncomfortable for a post-holocaust audience, and debates continue as to whether Shakespeare's portrayal of this complex man is sympathetic or anti-semitic. A exacting and controversial comedy, The Merchant of Venice explores prejudice and the true nature of justice. Illustrated throughout by Sir John Gilbert (1817-1897), famous for his depictions of historical scenes. As well as Shakespeare, he illustrated works of Sir Walter Scott, Cervantes, Wilkie Collins and Wordsworth.With an Introduction by Ned Halley.

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About the Author:

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, in 1564. The date of his birth is not known but is traditionally 23 April, St George's Day. Aged 18, he married a Stratford farmer's daughter, Anne Hathaway. They had three children. Around 1585 William joined an acting troupe on tour in Stratford from London, and thereafter spent much of his life in the capital. A member of the leading theatre group in London, the Chamberlain's Men, which built the Globe Theatre and frequently performed in front of Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare wrote 36 plays and much poetry besides. He died in 1616.

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