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The Merchant of Venice
Уильям Шекспир

The Merchant of Venice
William Shakespeare

HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics.'The quality of mercy is not strain'd,It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven’Bassiano, a noble Venetian, hopes to woo the beautiful heiress Portia. However, he requires financial assistance from his friend Antonio. Antonio agrees, but he, in turn, must borrow from the Jewish moneylender Shylock. As recourse for past ills, Shylock stipulates that the forfeit on the loan must be a pound of Antonio’s flesh. In the most renowned onstage law scene of all time, Portia proves herself one of Shakespeare’s most cunning heroines, disguising herself as a lawyer and vanquishing Shylock’s claims; meanwhile, Shylock triumphs on a humanitarian level with his plea for tolerance: ‘Hath not a Jew eyes?’Viewed paradoxically as anti-Semitic, while at the same time powerfully liberal for its time, The Merchant of Venice is at its core a bittersweet drama, exploring the noble themes of prejudice, justice and honour.

THE ALEXANDER SHAKESPEARE

General Editor

R.B. Kennedy

Additional notes and editing

Mike Gould

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

William Shakespeare

CONTENTS

Cover (#uc7cf2e6a-9c8c-5bf7-be59-2777f628f4b7)

Title Page (#u219cc990-9fe8-5726-b021-8a56271cdc3b)

Prefatory Note (#u53e64fb8-7e3d-5650-8e3c-45f2b15a53b8)

The Theatre in Shakespeare’s Day (#u38112839-83cd-5fe7-a776-daaa666618aa)

Shakespeare: A Timeline (#u8a530840-c491-5d09-a2fd-f2ee2d4589a2)

Life & Times (#u762ae141-a03d-59dc-b28b-ed0dd2e42c0d)

Money in Shakespeare’s Day (#ufd458706-70ac-5329-b1f0-edebd97c2b8b)

Introduction (#u51954e9f-916b-5ed3-abad-50e74b3457c2)

List of Characters (#u5f591ac7-f564-5f98-843f-d5b2b01365b2)

Act One (#u9c926b30-4603-59af-a8e2-53d8f69c17cd)

Scene I

Scene II (#ub43730b2-93d7-553b-b53a-69700f18b8da)

Scene III (#litres_trial_promo)

Act Two (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene I

Scene II (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene III (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene IV (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene V (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene VI (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene VII (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene VIII (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene IX (#litres_trial_promo)

Act Three (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene I

Scene II (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene III (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene IV (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene V (#litres_trial_promo)

Act Four (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene I

Scene II (#litres_trial_promo)

Act Five (#litres_trial_promo)

Scene I

Shakespeare: Words and Phrases (#litres_trial_promo)

Copyright (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

Prefatory Note

This Shakespeare play uses the full Alexander text. By keeping in mind the fact that the language has changed considerably in four hundred years, as have customs, jokes, and stage conventions, the editors have aimed at helping the modern reader – whether English is their mother tongue or not – to grasp the full significance of the play. The Notes, intended primarily for examination candidates, are presented in a simple, direct style. The needs of those unfamiliar with British culture have been specially considered.

Since quiet study of the printed word is unlikely to bring fully to life plays that were written directly for the public theatre, attention has been drawn to dramatic effects which are important in performance. The editors see Shakespeare’s plays as living works of art which can be enjoyed today on stage, film and television in many parts of the world.
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