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Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
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Michael Neill
Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice by Michael Neill at Abbey's Bookshop,

Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Michael Neill


Quarto Books

Shakespeare studies & criticism;
Literary companions


130 pages

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The Merchant of Venice is now the most contentious of Shakespeare's plays. Its only rival in this respect is Othello, and this is because both plays deal with dangerous issues of race. In Othello Iago uses the protagonists colour both to goad his victims jealousy and to excite the animosity of Venetian's against this visible outsider; in The Merchant of Venice Shylocks Jewishness renders him, from the beginning, the object of general opprobrium in Christian Venice. But whereas the Moor is treated as a generally sympathetic character, the Jew appears to be cast in an entirely negative light. Or so, at least, many critics believe. In this book, however, one of the best respected critics of Shakespeare, Michael Neill, takes issue with this simplistic view, providing a fresh reading of the play and arguing that in it, as always, Shakespeare refuses to allow us the comfort of any single 'view of the world'.

By:   Michael Neill
Imprint:   Quarto Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 175mm,  Width: 109mm, 
ISBN:   9781907776212
ISBN 10:   1907776214
Series:   The Connell Guide To ...
Pages:   130
Publication Date:   October 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Forthcoming

Table of Contents: Introduction A summary of the plot What is The Merchant of Venice about? Does The Merchant of Venice set out to teach a moral lesson? What is the significance of The Merchant's two settings? What kind of play is The Merchant of Venice? Is The Merchant of Venice an anti-semitic play? What is the significance of Shylock's bond ? Why do Antonio and Shylock so detest one another? What accounts for Antonio's melancholy? Who is the play's true protagonist? What makes Portia an engaging character? What is Jessica's role in the play? What is the function of Lancelot Gobbo in the play? What view of the world does The Merchant of Venice leave us with?

Michael Neill is Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and is the author of Issues of Death and Putting History to the Question; he has edited Anthony and Cleopatra and Othello for the Oxford Shakespeare, and a range of plays, including The Spanish Tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi, and The Changeling, for other series. Most recently he co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Shakespearean Tragedy.

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