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The Merchant of Venice (1596)

by William Shakespeare, Francis Fergusson (Editor), William Shakespeare

Other authors: Penko Gelev

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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9,45498578 (3.78)280
Bassanio, with the help of merchant, Antonio, borrows money from Shylock, a wealthy jew, in order to woo Portia. Portia disguises herself as a lawyer and foils Shylock's ability to exact retribution from Bassanio for failing to repay the debt.

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» See also 280 mentions

English (90)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  All languages (97)
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
Aunque tiene elementos claramente trasnochados como mujeres disfrazadas de hombres y ni sus maridos las distingen, tambien tiene elementos muy interesantes.
En particular hay varias historias contadas en paralelo. Una historia de odio, una de amistad, una de amor (o varias), otra de libertad, de relaciones fraternales.

Las grandes preguntas de la vida, en formato comedia sin aparentes ambiciones. Este Shakespeare tenia algo especial.

Por cierto, mucha gente se queja de sus parrafos anti-judios. Si, la historia de odio pone a un judio como el malo y lo caracteriza como envidioso y tacaño. Si esto hiere su sensibilidad, no lea este libro. ( )
  trusmis | Nov 28, 2020 |
Like all the Arden third editions, John Drakakis' "Merchant of Venice" is impeccably researched and analysed, with fascinating, deep textual notes on the entire text, and an intelligent, lengthy introduction. Like all Ardens, it's aimed at scholars and armchair readers, although it functions mainly as an appetiser to scholarship and criticism on the play, inviting you to peruse the hundreds of texts mentioned in the appendices and index at your leisure.

Drakakis has clearly been a "Merchant" scholar for some time, as his richly detailed section of the introduction catalogues notable productions from the past 400 years. However, as opposed to some Ardens - like R.A. Foakes' classic "King Lear" that I just read - this is probably the most academic introduction that I have read, after about 25 of this series! It's incredibly dense and philosophical, very much a scholarly text.

(Another example of this would be in the textual notes. While the actual analysis of the text is one of the most breathtaking and deep of all the Ardens, it's interesting to see that in his bottom-of-the-page lists of textual emendations, Drakakis includes much more than most other Arden editors. He'll include simple spelling discrepancies between editions (e.g. "Farewell" vs "Farewel" in F and Q texts, or speech prefixes that have been regularised.)

Recommended very much, but the introduction is more of a philosophical thesis than a literary analysis, for what it's worth. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
Great, friendly edition that attempts to grapple with the numerous issues this play presents. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
Loved it!! I had so much fun acting this out!! ( )
  Absolution13 | Oct 6, 2020 |
49. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
Originally performed: ~1597
format: 207-page Signet Classic paperback, acquired in May
read: Aug 25 – Sep 30, 7 hr 47 min, 2.4 min/page
rating: 4
locations: Venice & Belmont
about the author April 23, 1564 – April 23, 1616

Editor: [[Kenneth Myrick]] 1965
Other contributors: [[Sylvan Barnett]] - series editor and author of an essay on the stage and screen history, 1998, [[Nicholas Rowe]] -from ‘The Works of Mr. William Shakespeare’, 1709?, [[William Hazlitt]] - from ‘Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays’, 1818, Anonymous from The Saturday Review, 8 Nov, 1879 - 'Henry Irving’s Shylock, [[Elmer Edgar Stoll]] - from ‘Shylock’, 1911, [[Linda Bamber]] - The Avoidance of Choice: A Woman’s Privilege, 1982, [[Alexander Leggatt]] - The Fourth and Fifth Acts, 1974, [[Robert Smallwood]] - The End of The Merchant of Venice: Four Versions, 1996

Shakespeare's infamous nuanced but still disturbing antisemitism. This is actually a terrific play that quickly generates stage drama has a really powerful scene in the first act where the targeted Jew, Shylock, and the main good guy, a notably kind and sad hero, Antonio, tell each other their hatreds and make their deal within this context of mutual hatred.



What should I say to you? Should I not say
'Hath a dog money? is it possible
A cur can lend three thousand ducats?' Or
Shall I bend low and in a bondman's key,
With bated breath and whispering humbleness, Say this;
'Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;
You spurn'd me such a day; another time
You call'd me dog; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much moneys'?


I am as like to call thee so again,
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too.
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friends; for when did friendship take
A breed for barren metal of his friend?
But lend it rather to thine enemy,
Who, if he break, thou mayst with better face
Exact the penalty.

Shylock is a problem as he is a caricature of the bad Jews of Renaissance Europe, one who is fully obsessed about money and has limited other deep feelings or concerns. But what is most disturbing from modern perspectives is that the play celebrates the tormenting of this Jew, and how that deep dislike provides a kind of common bond for all the other characters. It's Venice society against Shylock. There is room for performances to take this different ways. The text does play at undermining Christian practices and manages to actually undermine every character. The quote above is kind Antonio admitting he spits on Jews. And Portia, the super clever heroine and savior, is exposed for her many commonplace biases.

I'm happy to have read this and see how the plot actually plays out and what makes this play important. And I came away with lot. Shylock‘s no nonsense directness holds a natural dignity no matter his dark purpose. And Portia is compromised no matter how clever she is or who she saved. A lot depends on actor interpretation and, if we believe the commentary in the after essays, the performance of these two characters seems to make or break the play. Modern audiences want nuance, whereas historically these characters might be exaggerated one way or another, successfully.

I don't think I can really recommend on Shakespeare, but you have to be open to what this play is to be able to appreciate it. If you're oversensitive to the antisemitism, that might ruin the play. Of course, it would also be justified.

http://www.librarything.com/topic/322920#7279945 ( )
  dchaikin | Oct 4, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (611 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fergusson, FrancisEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Shakespeare, Williammain authorall editionsconfirmed
Gelev, Penkosecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrews, John F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bamber, LindaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barnett, SylvanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brooks, Harold F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, John RussellEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cajander, PaavoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
D'Agostino, NemiIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace HowardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilchrist, Trevor M.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gollancz, IsraelEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Halio, Jay L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, G. B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hazlitt, WilliamContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holland, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, Pei te HurinuiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamar, VirginiaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leggatt, AlexanderContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lodovico, Cesare VicoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lombardo, Agostinosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lovett, Robert MorssEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mahood, M. M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merchant, W. MoelwynEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mowat, Barbara A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Myrick, KennethEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rolfe, William J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rowe, NicholasContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schlegel, August Wilhelm vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serpieri, AlessandroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smallwood, RobertContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, ReedEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stoll, Elmer EdgarContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, George CoffinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verity, A. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verity, A. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Voeten, BertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werstine, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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In sooth, I know not why I am so sad:
It wearies me; you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn;
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.
The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes
When he is best, he is a little worse than a man; and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.
My meaning in saying he is a good man, is to have you understand me that he is sufficient.
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
It is a wise father that knows his own child.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work is for the complete The Merchant of Venice only. Do not combine this work with abridgements, adaptations or simplifications (such as "Shakespeare Made Easy"), Cliffs Notes or similar study guides, or anything else that does not contain the full text. Do not include any video recordings. Additionally, do not combine this with other plays.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Bassanio, with the help of merchant, Antonio, borrows money from Shylock, a wealthy jew, in order to woo Portia. Portia disguises herself as a lawyer and foils Shylock's ability to exact retribution from Bassanio for failing to repay the debt.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140714626, 0141013958

Yale University Press

An edition of this book was published by Yale University Press.

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