The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare


The Merchant of Venice is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. A merchant in Venice named Antonio defaults on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock. 
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 the character Shylock and his famous demand for a "pound of flesh" in retribution. The play contains two famous speeches, that of Shylock, "Hath not a Jew eyes?" on the subject of humanity, and that of Portia on "the quality of mercy". Debate exists on whether the play is anti-Semitic, with Shylock's insistence on his legal right to the pound of flesh being in opposition to Shylock's seemingly universal plea for the rights of all people suffering discrimination.
The play has inspired many adaptions and several works of fiction.
Excerpted from The Merchant of Venice on Wikipedia.

The Merchant of Venice

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 B├╝chel | wikimedia
book_online EbooksProject Gutenberg
description ScansGoogle-digitized
headphones AudioLibrivox | Internet Archive
Reader: Group, Dramatic Readings
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auto_stories Read onlineThe Merchant of Venice