Shakespeare: 'The Merchant of Venice'

Author: Sokolova, Boika


PDF 978-1-84760-099-8 file size 867 kb. 113 pages. Prinitg permitted; copying disabled. Also in ePub and Mobi

Recommend to your librarian

This expert study guide introduction offers a pedagogical analysis of Shakespeare's complex and controversial play in its Elizabethan and modern contexts.
Three formats: PDF (definitive), ePub and Mobi.


Chapter 1, Shakespeare: His Life, His Education, His Theatre sets Shakespeare's life and literary career in the context of his age. Chapter 2, Genre; “˜The Merchant of Venice” in Context considers romantic comedy and 16th century Venice and London. Chapter 3, The Embarrassment of Riches discusses 1.1: Venice, Venetians, Antonio, Bassanio; 1.2: Portia's Belmont; 1.3: Shylock's Venice. Chapter 4, Confusions and Exclusions discusses Act 2, Morocco and Arragon; Jessica's Elopement, Lorenzo, Venetians; Lancelot, the Subversive Fool; Expunging Otherness. Chapter 5, Loss and Gain focuses on 3.1: Xenophobia, Flesh, Blood and Rings; 3.2: Caskets and Cultural Codes; Love and Money. Chapter 6, Trial and Tribulations discusses 4.1: Venetians at Court: Shylock, Antonio, Bassanio; Portia: “˜The quality of mercy” Venetian Style; Portia: Rearranging Emotional Hierarchies. Chapter 7, The Gardens of Belmont discusses 5.1: Jessica and Lorenzo; Rings and “˜Parchment bonds.” The book concludes with a chapter on perfornaces and criticism, Suggestions for Further Reading and a Filmography.

About the author

Boika Sokolova's books include Shakespeare's Romances as Interrogative Texts (Edwin Mellen, 1992), Painting Shakespeare Red (University of Delaware Press, 2001) and editions of collections of essays on Shakespeare“˜s reception in Europe.


Other Formats

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Shakespeare: 'The Merchant of Venice'

Review Comment

 K P Gray on Amazon

This is an illuminating and authoritative study of one of the most challenging texts in the Shakespeare canon, and is ideally suited to undergraduate and A-level students. There is an excellent biography of Shakespeare, which puts the man and his work in context, a clear analysis of the historical context of the play itself, and a succinct selected bibliography. In straightforward language the author offers a scene-by-scene commentary, and the meanings of unfamiliar words and phrases are clearly explained. An added bonus is that this guide includes useful links to websites where more information on terms and ideas can be found. I would absolutely recommend this to teachers and students alike. It is a comprehensive and concise guide and the crisp layout makes it extremely user-friendly. This is by far the best brief guide that I have encountered in some time.

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