The Merchant of Venice: A Guide to the Play

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 273 pages

The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's most frequently performed plays. Though written more than 400 years ago, the play's concerns--anti-Semitism, homosexuality, materialism, usury, the law, and the sincerity of love--continue to resonate in contemporary culture. Shylock, one of the most memorable characters in literature, has been discussed at length and continues to fascinate readers and scholars, yet relatively few works have been published on the play as a whole. This reference is a comprehensive introduction to the play, its themes and contexts, its critical reception, and its performance history.

The volume begins with a discussion of the play's creation and textual history. It then examines Shakespeare's sources and analogues, considering how he drew upon and modified available material. A plot summary follows, along with an analysis of the play's characters and language. The book then examines the play's themes and overviews its critical reception and performance history. An annotated bibliography concludes the volume.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Textual History
3
Contexts and Sources
31
Dramatic Structure
55
Characters
85
Themes
121
Critical Approaches
151
The Play in Performance
201
Selected Annotated Bibliography
253
Index
269
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 6 - James Robertes Entred for his copie vnder the handes of bothe the wardens, a booke of the Marchaunt of Venyce or otherwise called the Jewe of Venyce. PROUIDED that yt bee not prynted by the said James Robertes or anye other whatsoeuer without lycence first had from the Right honorable the lord Chamberlen vjd The proviso in this entry is noteworthy.

About the author (2003)

VICKI K. JANIK is Associate Professor of Humanities at the State University of New York at Farmingdale, where she has taught a variety of courses in Shakespeare, drama, and technical communications since 1987. Her previous books include Modern British Women Writers: An A-to-Z Guide (Greenwood, 2002) and Fools and Jesters in Literature, Art, and History (Greenwood, 1998).

Bibliographic information