With Shylock's pound of flesh and Portia's golden ring,The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's most controversial, disturbing and unforgettable plays.
Combining accessible commentary with a range of reprinted materials, S. P. Cerasano:
*explores the contexts of the play, including early modern images of Venice, the commercialism of the play, Shakespeare's theatre and London, and images of Jewishness
*samples modern criticism of Shakespeare's Merchant, grouped into sections on The Economic Framework, Choosing and Risking, and Shylock and Other Strangers
*offers an invaluable discussion of the play in performance, considering crucial staging issues and changing interpretations of the roles of Portia and Shylock
*closely examines key passages of the work, providing both commentary and extensively annotated sections of play text
*prepares readers for additional study of the play with a useful guide to further reading.
Assuming no prior knowledge of the play, this sourcebook is the essential guide to one of the most haunting works of English drama.
S. P. Cerasano is the Edgar W. B. Fairchild Professor of Literature at Colgate University, Hamilton NY