The Merchant Of Venice
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The Merchant of Venice has been performed more often than any other comedy by Shakespeare. Molly Mahood pays special attention to the expectations of the play's first audience, and to our modern experience of seeing and hearing the play. In a substantial new addition to the Introduction, Charles Edelman focuses on the play's sexual politics and recent scholarship devoted to the position of Jews in Shakespeare's time. He surveys the international scope and diversity of theatrical interpretations of The Merchant in the 1980s and 1990s and their different ways of tackling the troubling figure of Shylock.
Complements Barron's Shakespeare Made Easy texts or can be used alone. Sets the stage for student comprehension with background material on each play. Builds appreciation for Shakespear's works with thought-provoking reviews.
The Merchant Of Venice Bases Its Dramatic Logic On The New Testament Premise That You Get What You Give, And The Play S Consistent Enactment Of This Looking-Glass Logic Creates A World In Which Mirroring Is A Major Internal Principle Of Order. The Indian Philosophy, Distilled In Our Vedas, Puranas And Epics, Speaks In Almost The Same Vein. Shylock Is Cunning, Cruel And Implacable. For Centuries, The Shylocks Of India, In Various Garbs, Have Tried And Succeeded Partially, To Get Their Pounds Of Flesh From Their Victims. Usury Was Condemned In The Elizabethan Period But We, In India, Still Nourish It. Secondly, Shylock S Sense Of Jessica Is Anti-Human As Well As Anti¬Social. He Is Aware Of Her As Of An Item Of Inventory, As Many Father, In India, Do With Their Daughters.Bassanio Must Have Learnt From Shylock S Example: A Wrong, Even A Small One, Is Always A Wrong And Calls Forth Its Own Punishment Automatically, For, As We Shall See, In Dr. Agarwalla S Interpretation Of The Play, The Law Sleeps Only Until Unoffended, When It Reacts By Reflecting The Offence In Kind. The Law Has No Power To Make Anyone Choose To Do Right, It Can Only Punish Those Who Do Wrong. The Prince Of Morocco, Like Any Prince Of Yester-Years, In India, Is Chivalrous, Amorous, Gracious And Sexually Virile. It Was Unkind Of Portia To Say Uncomplimentary Words For Him But She, Like White-Skinned Ladies, Have Always Done So In The Past And Are Doing It, At Present. Thus The Merchant Of Venice Is As Much Relevant To Indians As It Was And Is To The English And To The World, In General. Dr. Shyam S. Agarwalla Gives A New Approach, A New Presentation And A New Direction To The Reading And Critical Analysis Of The Play. At Times, His Critical Examination Of The Play Is Unconventional, Provocative But Nonetheless Educative. That Marks Him Off From Other Indian Editors Of The Merchant.
In this lively comedy of love and money in sixteenth-century Venice, Bassanio wants to impress the wealthy heiress Portia but lacks the necessary funds. He turns to his merchant friend, Antonio, who is forced to borrow from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. When Antonio's business falters, repayment becomes impossible—and by the terms of the loan agreement, Shylock is able to demand a pound of Antonio’s flesh. Portia cleverly intervenes, and all ends well (except of course for Shylock).