The Merchant of Venice: Critical Essays, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Merchant of Venice

Critical Essays, 1st Edition

Edited by John W. Mahon, Ellen Macleod Mahon


472 pages

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pub: 2002-08-02
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This volume is a collection of all-new original essays covering everything from feminist to postcolonial readings of the play as well as source queries and analyses of historical performances of the play.

The Merchant of Venice is a collection of seventeen new essays that explore the concepts of anti-Semitism, the work of Christopher Marlowe, the politics of commerce and making the play palatable to a modern audience. The characters, Portia and Shylock, are examined in fascinating detail. With in-depth analyses of the text, the play in performance and individual characters, this book promises to be the essential resource on the play for all Shakespeare enthusiasts.


"The introductory overview of "The Fortunes of The Merchant of Venice from 1596-2001" alone is worth the price of the volume. In it, John Mahon surveys the major cruxes of the play with a clarity and an erudition that come from impressively wide reading. Nearly 100 pages and with a bibliography of 150 items, this survey is more comprehensive and judicious than the critical introductions one finds in the most scholarly editions of the play"." James Bulman, The Shakespeare Newsletter

"Many of the seventeen essays, skillfully arranged by the editors, are both informative and provocative. Oppositional readings encourage one to view the play afresh." James Bulman, The Shakespeare Newsletter

"Few of Shakespeare's plays trouble us now quite as much as The Merchant of Venice. Post-Holocaust, the play seems to have changed irrevocably. John and Ellen Mahon's fine collection of new critical essays brings a host of new insights into the play and its disturbing cultural history, helping us to think afresh about the difficult demands the play makes of its audiences and readers." Professor Peter Holland, Director, The Shakespeare Institute, The University of Birmingham, UK.

"This volume will afford all students of the play--with abundant resources and much thought-provoking material. The volume clearly stands as a valuable addition to our various understandings of the play." Paul J. Voss, Christianity and Literature

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Contributors General Editor's Introduction Introduction, John W. Mahon and Ellen Macleod Mahon Shakespeare's Merchant and Marlowe's Other Play, Murray J. Levitch Jewish Daughters: The Question of Philo-Semitism in Elizabethan Drama, John Ozark Holmer Jessica, John Drakakis Textual Delivery in The Merchant of Venice, John F. Andrews Portia and the Ovidian Grotesque, John W. Velz Does Source-Criticism Illuminate the Problems of Interpreting The Merchant as a Soured Comedy? John K. Hale Shylock Is Content: A Study in Salvation, Hugh J. Short Isolation to Communion: A Reading of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Maryellen Keefe The Less into the Greater: Emblem, Analogue, and Deification in The Merchant of Venice, John Cunningham and Stephen Slimp "Nerissa Teaches Me What to Believe": Portia's Wifely Empowerment in The Merchant of Venice, Corrine S. Abate "Mislike Me Not for My Complexion": Whose Mislike? Shakespeare's? That of the Age? R. W. Desai The Merchant of Venice and the Politics of Commerce, Karoline Szatek Names in The Merchant of Venice, Grace Tiffany Singing Chords: Performing Shylock and Other Characters in The Merchant of Venice, Jay L. Halio Making The Merchant of Venice Palatable for U.S. Audiences, Gayle Gaskill Shylock in Performance, John O'Connor Portia Performs: Playing the Role in the Twentieth-Century English Theater, Penny Gay

About the Editors

John Mahon is Professor of English at Iona College and Editor of the Shakespeare Newsletter. He received his PhD. in English from Columbia University.

Ellen Mahin is Assistant Professor of English at Iona College. She attended NYU and received her PhD. in English from Fordham University.

About the Series

Shakespeare Criticism

These comprehensive critical collections are a must-have for students, libraries and scholars alike. Each volume gathers the most influential criticism, key contemporary interpretations and reviews of the most influential productions of Shakespeare's masterworks.

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