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The Merchant of Venice (1596)

by William Shakespeare

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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11,467113585 (3.77)1 / 295
Drama. Fiction. HTML:

The Merchant of Venice is classed as one of Shakespeare's comedies, but is more often remembered for its dramatic characters and situations. Though the villain of the piece, the Jewish moneylender Shylock is often the most prominent and well-remembered character of the play. As he can be played and directed either sympathetically or wholly villainous, the play remains a highly contentious piece of theater.

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» See also 295 mentions

English (101)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
This play is well made, and the elements of it are well marshalled. But, of course, to the modern reader the anti-Semitism is repugnant. A man of his time, working in the entertainment business, did what was likely to please, and thus, here it is. There is some lovely poetry. Written in 1598. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 13, 2023 |
This is not my favorite Shakespeare play - at times, its great, but generally, not I found a bit weird, even when accounting for when the play was written in the late 1500's.

I think my biggest issue is how Shylock is treated - Shakepeare gives him this great monologue about how he is human and worth respect, but than at the end, Shylock is forced to convert to Christianity. So, why give Shylock this great speech. As for the rest of the story, its a fairly standard Shakespeare - Cross Dressing, Money problems, innocent maids needing to be saved, etc etc. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Apr 22, 2023 |
This is probably my favorite Shakespeare play. It is light and humorous and features a two strong female characters. The storyline is interesting and lively, drawing the reader in with elopement, courting, risky business ventures, and family disputes. Very enjoyable overall. ( )
  jhellar | Jan 14, 2023 |
Siempre es un placer leer a Shakespeare, pero para mí lo más interesante de las relecturas es fijarme en las diferencias culturales de diferentes épocas. No es que Antonio fuera antisemita; es que su actitud refleja la mentalidad común de ese momento en aquel lugar. Es más probable que el autor deformara a Shylock pasándolo por el tamiz de los estereotipos que sabía iban a tener éxito entre su audiencia, que no que diseñara un personaje antisemita como héroe de la acción.

También el retrato de Portia como moderno héroe femenino (como por otra parte tantos de sus personajes de este sexo) nos invita a reflexionar sobre el imaginado ‘retraso’ en apreciación feminista que en la memoria colectiva existe de esta época. ( )
  ncardoso | Jan 3, 2023 |
This is one of Shakespeare's darkest most complex plays. Ladies must read this since Portia actually speaks throughout and isn't silenced through marriage vows. ( )
  eliseGregory | Jan 1, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (415 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shakespeare, Williamprimary 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
Fergusson, FrancisEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuller, EdmundEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Furness, Horace HowardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gelev, Penkosecondary 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
Morera i Galícia, MaginTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mowat, Barbara A.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Myrick, KennethEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paul HogarthCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Radspieler, HansEditorsecondary 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
Sutherland, JulieEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Taylor, George CoffinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verity, A. W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Voeten, BertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werstine, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, Louis B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zeynek, Theodor vonsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
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.
Please do not combine the 'Timeless Shakespeare' adaptations with the original works.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Drama. Fiction. HTML:

The Merchant of Venice is classed as one of Shakespeare's comedies, but is more often remembered for its dramatic characters and situations. Though the villain of the piece, the Jewish moneylender Shylock is often the most prominent and well-remembered character of the play. As he can be played and directed either sympathetically or wholly villainous, the play remains a highly contentious piece of theater.


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