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The Merchant of Venice (Signet Classic)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  122,003 Ratings  ·  2,421 Reviews
The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, but it remains deeply controversial. The text may seem anti-Semitic; yet repeatedly, in performance, it has revealed a contrasting nature. Shylock, though vanquished in the law-court, often triumphs in the theatre. In his intensity he can dominate the play, challenging abrasively its romantic and lyrical ...more
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Published February 1st 1965 by Signet Classics (first published 1596)
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Lola  Reviewer
3 1/2 stars.

This review contains huge spoilers.

Well... I certainly did not expect that ending. I didn't imagine Portia to be one to give second chances, especially after seeing her scheming to discover who is more important to Bassanio, herself or Antonio. It bothered me to see her tricking Bassanio with no repent.

Incidentally, I feel sad for Antonio. In my opinion, he did deserve to end up wealthy... but not alone. Same for Shylock, even though I can't ignore his showing cruelty instead of mer
...more
Ahmad  Ebaid
Jul 23, 2016 Ahmad Ebaid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: أدب
(view spoiler)
"الرجل الذي لا يشعر بالموسيقى ولا يهزه الطرب إنما هو مفطور على الغدر والاحتيال, حركات نفسه قطوب كقطوب الظلام، وأهواؤه سود كأهواء الجحيم. وقصارى القول إنه رجل يحذر شره ويتقى أمره "

description
قرأت ترجمة خليل مطران, فيها ألفاظ صعبة كتير, لدرجة إنه تم تغيير بعض الكلمات لصعوبتها عند تمثيلها على مسرح حديقة الأزبكية في القاهرة منذ أكتر من 50 سنة, متاح تسجيل صوتي لمسرحية الأزبكية على الإنترنت لمن يريد الإطلاع عليها

الترجمة القديمة مهمة لو انت عايز تقوى اللغة وتستمتع بألفاظ جديدة عليك
...more
Bill  Kerwin

Many years ago I believed this play to be an early experiment in tragi-comedy featuring Shylock, a nemesis of almost tragic proportions, who--both because of the sympathies he evokes and the evil determination he represents--unbalances the play, making the last act in Belmont seem like a hollow exercise in formal completeness. More recently, I believed that Shylock was essentially a comic villain, one dark splash on a predominately sunny canvas that reveals to us the fallen world of Venice trans
...more
Brina
Aug 26, 2016 Brina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare is the old classics selection for catching up on classics for September 2016. This comedy, first printed in 1609 five years prior to Shakespeare's death, offers many pressing issues of its day that are unfortunately still relevant today. It is still widely studied in schools yet is banned in many places as well due to its anti-Semitic portrayal of Jews and some lewdness. It is in this light that I discuss the Bard's work.

Jews had been banned from England in
...more
Riku Sayuj

“One had best state this matter very plainly: To recover the comic splendor of The Merchant of Venice now, you need to be either a scholar or an anti-Semite, or best of all an anti-Semitic scholar.”
~ Harold Bloom

***

See how yond justice rails upon yond simple thief.
Hark in thine ear: change places, and handy-dandy,
which is the justice, which is the thief?
~ King Lear (IV.vi.151–4)

***

“Which is the merchant here? and which the Jew?”
~ The Merchant of Venice


THE BLACK SWAN OF VENICE

The traditional
...more
Kelly
Although the most famous speech from this piece is, deservedly and understandably, Shylock's 'prick us' monologue, I think that the more useful speech to talk about what I felt about the play is Portia's only slightly less famous 'quality of mercy' speech in the court room scene:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throne
...more
Henry Avila
Jul 02, 2015 Henry Avila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The pretty islands of Venice, in the shallow lagoon, atop the blue, Adriatic Sea, as the blazing rays of the Sun, shine down, on the brilliant colors of the homes, the calm canals full of boats , with cargo, from faraway lands, a glorious past, but an uncertain future, the rise of Portugal, worries the people. The city once powerful, a short distance from the Italian mainland, vastly wealthy, is in decline...Antonio, the most successful merchant in Venice, and a gambler in commerce, his ships fl ...more
Hailey (HaileyInBookland)
*reread nov 2015*

Definitely one of my favourites.
Lyn
Aug 18, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If this had a secondary title, delivered in "the parlance of our times" it would be THE POUND OF FLESH.

I liked this for many reasons but the element that stands out most is Shakespeare's focus. Many of his plays have various, complex, and intertwined sub-plots, some being more interesting than the theme itself, TMOV is focused and almost relentless, we have one simple course of action that the story leads inevitably towards and which keeps the reader and the audience entranced, will Shylock rea
...more
Duane
It has been debated whether Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice is anti-semitic or whether he is trying to call attention to their plight in his time. Many modern readers lean toward the latter pointing to Shylock's profound speech in the trial scene (do I not bleed when you cut me?). It's up to the reader to form their own opinion because it's hard to know what Shakespeare was thinking 400 years after the fact.

From a pure readability standpoint, I thought the play was very good, one of Shakespeare
...more
Asma Albishri
Mar 04, 2011 Asma Albishri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

قرأت الرواية و أنا في الصف الثاني متوسط، و أذكر أن أول شيء خطر ببالي بعد أن انهيتها هو: لماذا اختار شكسبير أن تكون الشخصية المحتالة المرابية المتلاعبة الشريرة شخصية يهودية؟

تعلمت وقتها أن اليهود هكذا في نظر العالم أجمع قديما و حديثا، و أن الربا - الذي كان أيضا من صفات التاجر اليهودي - كان فعلاً منبوذاً كما نؤمن نحن تماماً


أعتقد أنني سأعيد قراءتها !
Anne Blocker
Sep 19, 2007 Anne Blocker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: strong-influence
My grandmother knew Shakespeare by heart. Not one play or a few sonnets, but all of it, the body of work. She believed the highest calling was to contribute to the body of human knowledge. She was one of the early professors at The University of Texas.

I knew Shylock and Portia as if they were members of our family when I went with my grandmother at 15 to the open stage at Stratford-on-Avon to see The Merchant of Venice. Growing up on an island in the Gulf of Mexico where every able-bodied perso
...more
Wanda
I attended a filmed version of this play, performed in the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London. The costuming was wonderful, plus the music was excellent! Jonathan Price was a convincing Shylock and his real-life daughter Phoebe played the role of Shylock’s daughter Jessica. Between the two of them, they managed to make Antonio & the other Christians look like the monsters of the piece.

Of course I knew about the whole “pound of flesh” issue, but I didn’t know many other details of this pla
...more
فهد الفهد
تاجر البندقية

كنت محظوظاً لأني قرأت هذه المسرحية بترجمة الدكتور عناني، ومن ثم شاهدت الفيلم الجميل الذي أخرجه مايكل ريدفورد سنة 2004، وقام بأداء دور اليهودي فيه آل باتشينو، ودور أنتونيو جيرمي آيرونز، هكذا حصلت على التجربة الكاملة، قرأت النص بترجمة عربية رائعة، ومن ثم شاهدته مجسداً، حيث نبرات الممثلين وتعابيرهم تنقل بل تحيي النص، وتضفي عليه الوجود الإنساني، وهي حالة أظن أن المسرحية مقروءة تفتقدها، لأنك عندما تقرأ المسرحية تفقد جزءً مهماً كان يجب أن يصل إليك من خلال صوت الممثل وأسلوبه في تجسيد الشخ
...more
Huda Aweys
I love this play .. I love those writings which exalting women :) .... and explain what she can be ! .. or what is estimated to be and how it can outweigh the balance ! :)
كمان المسرحية مهمة جدا لكونها أشارت للقوة الإقتصادية اللي كان بيمثلها اليهود في اوروبا ، في ذلك الوقت ..
Afshar
Feb 16, 2015 Afshar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
اولین بار تله تئاتر ایرانی این اثر رو در شبکه چهار دیدم و بعد نمایشنامه مشهورش رو خوندم
آن قسمت انتخاب صندوق عالی بود
اینکه مردان از راه دوری فقط بخاطر شنیدن زیبایی پورشیا می آمدند و ولی برای همسری با او باید به صندوق ها خیره شوند
من در این موندم که اگه جای یکی از این مردا بودم کدوم رو انتخاب میکردم!!؟؟
صندوقچه سربی یا نقره ای یا طلایی
برروی هرکدام چیزی نوشته شده
صندوقچه سربی:کسی که مرا بر می گزیند باید آنچه را دارد بخاطر من بخطر اندازد و تسلیم کند
صندوق نقره ای: کسیکه مرا برگزیند آنچه را شایسته اوست
...more
Trevor
Nov 02, 2011 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
My daughter has to write an essay on this play and so we have been talking about it. It would be easy to say the play is anti-Semitic – there is no question that many of the characters we are expected to have the most sympathy with are certainly anti-Semitic. My problem is that I can’t watch this play and not end up feeling sorry for Shylock. Sure, he was going to kill someone who had spat on him in the street and despised him for his religion – but then, he would hardly have been the first pers ...more
Carmo
Jul 13, 2016 Carmo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teatro, inglaterra, pdf
Este é daqueles que nos leva ao engano, parece muito leve e divertido até que nos damos conta de sentimentos muito sombrios que lhe dão outra profundidade.
As personagens bem caracterizadas exploram temas comuns como a amizade, o amor e a ganância. Cada uma encarna as suas características de forma algo exagerada, mas isso é comum na literatura da época e no autor.
Sheylock, o judeu avarento, pelo seu tremendo mau feitio é o mais divertido, contudo, com o desenvolvimento da peça, a obstinação e cru
...more
Manny
Now playing at the Almeida Theater in London, an amazing CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH PERFORMANCE...

 THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

VERSUS

 ELVIS PRESLEY'S GREATEST HITS

Really! I kid you not.

Evelyn (devours and digests words)
Mercy be damned. Antonio deserves to get his pound of flesh knifed out. Let all that bad blood flow. The racist arse.
Ahmad Sharabiani
کمدی (در کمدی برعکس تراژدی وقایع ختم به خیر میشوند.) «تاجر ونیزی» داستانی خیالی و خیال انگیز و ساده است، که از تلفیق دو داستان اصلی و دو داستان فرعی متولد میشود. داستان اصلی نخست، داستان وامی هست، که «آنتونیو تاجر ونیزی» برای تهیهء سوروسات خواستگاری و عروسی دوست خود «بسانیو»، با دختری به نام «پورشیا»، از یک یهودی به نام «شایلاک» میگیرد، و البته که در مقابل سندی میدهد، تا در صورت عدم بازپرداخت بموقع وام، مقداری از گوشت بدنش را، (از هر قسمتی که طلبکار مایل باشد)، به عنوان جریمه به طلبکار دهد. و بر ...more
Jonathan
Review the First

A brilliant play that I must now make a priority to go and see along with a live production of Hamlet and The Crucible. I particularly loved the way Shakespeare provided his characters with greater depth than in other plays and this will become one of my favorites along with Hamlet.

The Merchant of Venice clearly reveals Shakespeare's vast wit, a fact that he has become noted for amongst scholars. Not to mention the manner to which he vastly added to the English language which was
...more
Manny
I stumbled across some interesting background to The Merchant of Venice last month when I was reading Andrew Dickson White's comprehensive History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom . From earliest times, the Christian Church had probihited usury. This was defined as "lending out money at interest"; it was regarded as one of the vilest of sins, and one that would invariably lead to eternal damnation. In cases where people had been convicted of usury after their deaths, they ...more
Emily May
Sep 12, 2016 Emily May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, plays
So strange that this was ever considered a comedy. I've yet to see a performance of it that has seemed anything but tragic. Such an odd play all around and is - along with the Taming of the Shrew - one that makes you want to ask the old boy what his intentions were. It's criticised by many for being anti-Semitic and yet it offers Shylock the spotlight to make an infamous speech about the unfair treatment of Jews. Strange.
غزل أدم
Jul 12, 2016 غزل أدم rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

آل باتشينو
ومن غير هذا الساحر يأسرك فقد رأيت له مقطع وهو يمثل دور التاجر اليهودى المرابى
ففتح شهيتى للبحث عن مسرحية تاجر البندقية وقراءتها
وما أن بدأت بقرأتها فلم أتركها إلا وقد أنهيتها
وعلى الرغم من أنها فتحت لى أفاق جديدة على عالم شكسبير
إلا أن تاجر البندقية تظل من وجهة نظرى من أمتع وأروع ما كتب شكسبيرعلى الأطلاق
Ahmed Ibrahim
" إن أكثر النساء زينة أكثرهن نزقًا وخفة عقل. "
"إنما الغراب والبلابل واحد في أذن من لا ينصت إليها"

إحساسي بعد قراءة ملخص لأحداث المسرحية في عشرين صفحةً ولم أدرِ هذا إلا بعد أن أنتهيت، لهو أسوء من إحساس شخصٍ متجمد الأطراف -من شدة البرودة- ويصطدم إصبع قدمه الأصغر بطرف السرير!

بعيدًا عن الملخص السخيف في البداية.. فهي واحدة من روائع شكسبير العظيم، وإن كنت أحببت هاملت أكثر منها.
Mark
Sep 09, 2011 Mark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The poetry is brilliant so it should have a whole galaxy of stars i suppose but i just can't get past the anti-semitic stuff right from the outset. Shylock; Is he as he is because he is a horrible brute or has the way in which people belittle and respond to him turned him that way ? Isn't his famous ' pound of flesh ' just a rather loathsome attempt at revenge; loathsome but, when push comes to shove he is simply fighting against society in the only way he could see.

My response to the Merchant o
...more
Paula W
Sep 07, 2016 Paula W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shakespeare had a way of writing about things that make us think for days about love, honor, respect, humanity, life, death, and pretty much every other noun on the planet. In that way, this one is no different from his dozens of other plays. Yet it is different.

Shakespeare's villains tend to be cookie-cutter. They all act like villains all the time. They are all well aware that they are villains and they manipulate people into thinking they are not villains so that their villainy will succeed.
...more
midnightfaerie
Click here for William Shakespeare Disclaimer

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare was thought provoking. I was floored when I finished the play and couldn't wait to watch some of the movies I had gotten from the library. Out of all the plays of Shakespeare's that I've read so far, this one, by far, has got the most potential for impact to a reader. I really enjoyed it and am still digesting in my head, and will probably be doing that for some time. I can't wait to hear what my book clu
...more
Janice(JG) George
After reading more pages about The Merchant of Venice than are in the play itself (because I am such a newbie when it comes to Shakespeare and I need all the help I can get), I finally got around to reading the play. And by the way, I'm very glad I read it before I saw it performed... there have been so many interpretations of this controversial play that I never would have been able to form my own insights if I hadn't read it before seeing it onstage. Even so, armed with so many critical analys ...more
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William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been tr ...more
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“You speak an infinite deal of nothing.” 3495 likes
“All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.”
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