The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice

Book rating: 05 Paperback Wordsworth Classics

By (author) William Shakespeare, Introduction and notes by Prof. Cedric Watts, Edited by Prof. Cedric Watts, Series edited by Dr. Keith Carabine


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  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 128 pages
  • Dimensions: 120mm x 188mm x 10mm | 100g
  • Publication date: 5 October 2000
  • Publication City/Country: Herts
  • ISBN 10: 1840224312
  • ISBN 13: 9781840224313
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 16,253

Product description

Edited, introduced and annotated by Cedric Watts, Professor of English Literature, University of Sussex. The Wordsworth Classics' Shakespeare Series presents a newly-edited sequence of William Shakespeare's works. The textual editing takes account of recent scholarship while giving the material a careful reappraisal. The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's most popular comedies, but it remains deeply controversial. The text may seem anti-Semitic; yet repeatedly, in performance, it has revealed a contrasting nature. Shylock, though vanquished in the law-court, often triumphs in the theatre. In his intensity he can dominate the play, challenging abrasively its romantic and lyrical affirmations. What results is a bitter-sweet drama. Though The Merchant of Venice offers some of the traditional pleasures of romantic comedy, it also exposes the operations of prejudice. Thus Shakespeare remains our contemporary.

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Customer reviews

By Deira 13 Apr 2013 5

I remember when I first time saw a movie by this play. I fell in love with story. And I was looking for translation to read, but nowhere I could find. One day was lucky of my life and I found this book in bookstore, so I bought it. But just today I read it.
I loved the way of classical storyline, interesting plot and characters. I really understand a jew man. I think he is one of my litareture twins. I perfectly understand his wish to get truth for insults. But I was fascinated that in such times when Shakespeare wrote this play, he showed how smart women are and I fell in love with this play even more. It is one more proof women were abused in old days, they could be better jawyers and scientists than any man. Maybe we lost many amazing inventions and many innocent people rotted in jails because of how men worked these days. Women pay more attendion to details. And I have to think now that Shakespeare probably had something in mind about education system these days.
I always loved the way showing this idilic friendship. Nowadays there little people in the world who would risk their own life for friends. Nowadays people just run away and leave friends in trouble. I liked the way main characters helped each other even risking their own marriage. And women acted really smart by "checking" their husbands' faithfulness. And it was really smart of three chests. I showed that true love does not need treasures. I think I like Shakespeare because he never wrote such things like description of buildings, cities, weather that much or at all. I like the way he writoe about feelings and smart "lessons of life".