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Merchant of Venice (Arden Shakespeare: Third)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  100,786 ratings  ·  1,794 reviews

The Merchant of Venice is perhaps most associated not with its titular hero, Antonio, but with the complex figure of the money lender, Shylock. The play was described as a comedy in the First Folio but its modern audiences find it more problematic to categorize. The vilification of Shylock “the Jew” can be very uncomfortable for a modern, post-holocaust audience and deb
Paperback, 350 pages
Published April 15th 2011 by Arden Shakespeare (first published 1598)
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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 (–4)


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


The traditional
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
Asma Albishri

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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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 ..
Now playing at the Almeida Theater in London, an amazing CELEBRITY DEATH MATCH PERFORMANCE...




Really! I kid you not.

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
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 Santos
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
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
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
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
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
Anabel (inthebookcorner)

One of the shorter plays of his I've read. So far I've enjoyed all of his plays, including this one.
Portia was a highlight in this.
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
Andvari Leitón
Al parecer la gente no exageraba cuando decía que Shakespeare era un genio. Su uso del lenguaje, su manera de dotar de humanidad a los personajes y su historia perfectamente tramada sin dejar de lado la parte de espectáculo del teatro me han maravillado.
Lina AL Ojaili
هل قصد الصراع اليهودي المسيحي ام صراع الأعمق بين العرق السامي و الآري
In London recently we saw the Almeida Theatre’s interpretation of The Merchant of Venice. Concerned that I hadn’t seen it before, I set out to watch the film version with Pacino and Irons first – half way through there was a hitch in reception and I was happy to abandon the exercise as by then it was clear that this was a straightforward exercise by Shakespeare, background research not needed.

Imagine my surprise, those of you who might also have watched the first half of Pacino’s Shylock and Iro
Shakespeare è uno di quegli autori che tutti hanno letto in teoria, ma che pochi hanno letto in pratica. Devo ammetterlo, prima della lettura di questo testo, facevo parte della prima schiera di ipocriti. Con 'Il mercante di Venezia' ho smesso di leggiucchiare qualche brano qua e là per dedicarmi, invece, alla lettura approfondita di un intero testo. Ferma restando la grandezza del genio di William Shakespeare, devo ammettere di preferire assai il teatrante in vesti tragiche, che non nei panni d ...more
Now that we are no longer to see the word nigger in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and I soon expect Moby Dick to turn into Moby D., I wonder how long it will take the literary gurus to change Shylock's nationality from Jewish to Italian - how about Silocchio, for instance? :)) - or never mention it at all throughout the play, though, of course, we won't have a play any longer, but Shakespeare wrote so many anyway, it wouldn't matter.

Now seriously, I can see why people would get offended, I
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
About time for a comedy in my stay-at-home Shakespeare Festival.

This is rather more serious than Shakespeare's other comedies, but you know it's not a tragedy because nobody dies.
I've seen this play on stage two or three times and never caught how uncharitable Shakespeare really was toward Shylock. But the Modern Perspective piece at the end of this version does explain that Shakespeare probably never actually even saw a Jew in person in his lifetime. He was going along with the general sentim
This only gets 3 stars because of Portia. Sassy, brilliant Portia.

Butchering Shakespeare....

Ant: In sooth, I know not why I am so sad,
It wearies me, you say it wearies you;
But how I caught i-
Salar: Be happy *singing*
Salan: Haaaaappy *harmonizing*
Selan and Salar: It's a brave new world. *singing together*
*Enter Bas, Lor, and Gra*
Selan and Salar: *whispering* Quick, let's fob him off on them.
Selan and Salar: Later, boys! *They exit by skipping off stage together*
Gra and Lor: Yeah, we've got...dinn
H ∞Δnother book Junkie∞
The only scenes i enjoyed were the ones that Shylock is in. I loved all his utterances and speeches. The play over all was pretty dull, his character was the only thing that kept me going. I was really angry about one point though: why would they let him convert his religion? Also, THEY BEGGED Shylock for mercy and braised about how good mercy is, and how merciful should he be towards Antonio! but when he asked for mercy: NO ONE granted him that!
huh! epic Christians beliefs you have there!

Ahmed Kchikeche
تحفة فنية نفيسة تألق فيها شيكسبير في وصل المعاني الإنسانية المركبة ،
من خير الحب ، الصداقة ، الطيبة و الوفاء .
إلى شر الجشع ، الطمع ن و الكراهية العمياء .
تميز الكاتب في تبيان أبعاد النفس الإنسانية ، بتوضيح الأبعاد المختلفة لشخصياته بدون تسطيح ، فرغم الجو الذي كتب فيه المسرحية - جو معادات اليهودية المبرر - إلا أنه ترك لـشايلوك اليهودي الذي إجتمعت فيه كل صفات الشر الحق في الدفاع عن نفسه .
أبدع الكاتب أيما إبداع في وصف الربا و خطورته ، و إمكانية إجتنابه ، برمزية رائعة أودعها شخصيات روايته ، رطل من ا
Xime García
Excelente! Me sorprende las fuertes figuras femeninas que creó Willy en esta obra. Ejemplo claro de que, por más que los hombres sean los señores de la casa, no son nadie sin una dama a su lado.
Joe Valdez
Apr 27, 2014 Joe Valdez rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fortune seekers, newlyweds, borrowers
Shelves: plays
My game plan for revisiting Shakespeare was to stream video of a staging of the play, listening and watching, while reading along to as much of the original text as was incorporated by the staging. Later, I read the entire play in the modern English version.

The staging I found for The Merchant of Venice was the 2004 film adapted and directed by Michael Radford. The cast boasts Al Pacino as Shylock, Jeremy Irons as Antonio, Joseph Fiennes as Bassanio, Lynn Collins as Portia, Kris Marshall as Grat
Ken Moten
SHYLOCK: Signior Antonio, many a time and oft In the Rialto you have rated me About my moneys and my usances; Still have I borne it with a patient shrug, For suff’rance is the badge of all our tribe; You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, And spet upon my Jewish gaberdine, And all for use of that which is mine own. Well then, it now appears you need my help; Go to, then; you come to me, and you say ‘Shylock, we would have moneys.’ You say so: You that did void your rheum upon my beard, And foo ...more
Ahmed Yousif
رائعة جداً..أنهيت قراءتها في أقل من 24 ساعة

المقاطع التي أعجبتني :
-لقد خلقت الطبيعة في مسارها أناساً غريبي الأطوار,بعضهم يظل دوماً يتطلع إلى الزمار وقد ضيق من أعينهم الضحك,فيقهقه قهقهة الببغاء وبعضهم ذو سحنة كئيبة لايفتر وجهه عن ابتاسمة ترينا أسنانه ولو أقسم لنه نستور أن النكتة ظريفة.

-آه يأنطونيو!إني لعرف أناساً لم يشتهروا بالحكمة إلا لامتناعهم عن الحديث وإني لجد واثق من أنهم لو تكلموا لنعتهم مستمعوهم بالغباء .

-حديث جراشيانو يحوي دائماَ قدراً لا نهاية له من الهراء لايداينه فيه أي رجل في البندقية
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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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Romeo and Juliet Hamlet Macbeth A Midsummer Night's Dream Othello

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“You speak an infinite deal of nothing.” 3092 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.”
More quotes…