The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare


The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice named Antonio defaults on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock. It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. 
Although classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play is most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and it is best known for Shylock and his famous demand for a "pound of flesh" in retribution, as well as its "Hath not a Jew eyes?" speech on humanity. As a result a debate exists on whether the play is anti-Semitic. Also notable is Portia's speech about "the quality of mercy".
The play has inspired many adaptions and several works of fiction.
Excerpted from The Merchant of Venice on Wikipedia.

person AuthorWilliam Shakespeare
language CountryEngland
api GenreDrama, Comedy
copyright CopyrightPublic domain worldwide.
camera_alt Book coverEnglish actor Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree (1853-1917) as William Shakespeare's Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.
Artist: Karl August Büchel | wikimedia
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description ScansGoogle-digitized
headphones AudioThanks to Librivox | Internet Archive:
Reader: Group, Dramatic Readings
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auto_stories Read onlineHTML version