Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Merchant of Venice” as Want to Read:
The Merchant of Venice
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

The Merchant of Venice

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  143,906 ratings  ·  3,151 reviews
Paperback, Folger Shakespeare Library, 237 pages
Published 1992 by Washington Square Press, Inc. (first published 1596)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  143,906 ratings  ·  3,151 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Bill  Kerwin
May 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing

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 embodies f0r us the fallen world of Venice tra
...more
Nayra.Hassan
شايلوك أيها الطفيلي الاناني :تسمح لي امنحك انحناءة شكر رقيقة ! فانت سبب حبي للادب
شايلوك ايها المرابي الشره:لن انساك مهما قرأت..فساظل اقيس شر البطل من خيره عليك
شايلوك ايها المخادع الماكر: تذكرني دائما بجملة "أخذ الحق صنعة" و ان المرأة اذا أرادت..تنتصر على من هو أسوأ منك


شيلوك المرابي الذي يبني ثراؤه على شقاء من يقع في يده💸
..يقع بين براثنه أنطونيو النبيل الذي يرفض نشاطه و يفسده عليه :بأن يقرض كل ذي حاجة بلا ربح..و يتاجر بشرف مما يجلب على مجتمعه الخير. .و ها قد سنحت الفرصةلشايلوك ليصمم على استقص
...more
Lola
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 16, 2014 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
Dolors
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dolors by: Contradictions in me
Maybe because I read this play with the famous controversy of its antisemitism on my mind, or because I expected a true hearted villain, “Iago fashion”, in the Jewish usurer Skylock, but I reached the last scene of the play with the extraordinary sensation that the Jew’s failure to execute the bloodthirsty bond was more of an anecdote than a climatic victory over evil.

Shakespeare’s precise wordplay presents a flesh and bone figure in Shylock, a flawed human being, a man who has been mocked and p
...more
Brina
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare
The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice must default on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender. It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه ژانویه سال 1999 میلادی
عنوان: تاجر ونیزی، اثر: ویلیام شکسپیر؛ برگردان: علاءالدین پازارگادی؛ نشر: تهران، شرکت انتشارات علمی و فرهنگی، چاپ دوم سال 1377؛ در 187 ص.؛ مصور، عکس؛ شابک: 9644451597 و 9789644451591
...more
Henry Avila
Oct 18, 2012 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
Kelly
Jun 16, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Lyn
Jan 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
James
Book Review
3 of 5 stars to The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. My review is an excerpt from a paper I wrote on appearance versus reality in Shakespeare's plays. In many of William Shakespeare’s famous plays, reality was not quite what it appeared to be. Instead, it was a rather warped appearance that someone molded in a specific way for a particular reason. Reality has been altered in Shakespeare’s plays often by characters who have been known to lie, scheme, and create facades, j
...more
Luffy
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Maybe I'm being slightly harsh with my rating. I read this play and immediately thought I'll rate it 5 stars. But I rescinded this idea. Hear me out. I realized that it was an outdated model of storytelling.

I also realized that there's not many adaptations of this story of Shakespeare. We get lots of Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, even the ambitious Othello or Midsummer Night's Dream.

The Merchant of Venice is at heart a simplistic story with people in love but it's not a love story. I
...more
Darwin8u
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, shakespeare, drama
"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."
- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 1, Scene 3

description

There is something about Shylock that I absolutely love. He is huge. His hatred and his disdain for Venice's Christians throbs like a heart ready to burst. There is no rest nor slumber to his antipathy. Somehow, this wicked caricature of both man and race I still, however, adore more than the self-righteous charm of the aggrieved Christians and the obviously biased "Doctor of Laws".

I want
...more
Obied Alahmed
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
مسرحية من أروع ما كتب شكسبير
تمتاز بروح تلك الفترة التي كانت الكتابات فيها تتحدث معظم الأحيان عن الصراع بين الخير والشر ، بين القيم العليا و القيم الدنيئة

لا أذكر عادة محتوى الروايات التي أقرأها لأن معظم من سبقني يكونون قد أعطو شرحا كافيا ووافيا

الغريب أن اليهود لم يلاحقوا شكسبير للمحاكمة كمعاد للسامية ولطلب تعويضات فقد نبشو قبور الاموات للمطالبة بحقوق مفتراة
ولكن ربما شهرة المؤلف وقدم تاريخ نشرها وأيضا الأمر الذي صاحب صدورها وهو أن الملكة "إليزابيث" قامت بإصدار أمر ملكى بدخول المسرحية بالسجل المل
...more
Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
*reread nov 2015*

Definitely one of my favourites.
Kamal Sabry Shaker
تاجر البندقية
لسنوات طويلة كنت أتعجب من الكراهية والبغضاء الشديدة التى يحملها الأوروبيين لليهود وكيف كانت فرحتهم بالتخلص من هذا الوباء بوعدهم بأرض لا يملكونها لشعب بلا أرض وبلا وطن .. هذه المسرحية التاريخية تروى قصة تاريخ كراهية معلنة بين الأوروبيين واليهود .. فاليهودى فى التاريخ هو المرابى وهو الذى أنشأ أول بنك للتسليف فى التاريخ هو من وضع السيف على رقبة المدين أنطونيو لأخذ قطعة من لحم جسمه عوضاً عن ثلاثة الآف تم عرض أضعافها عليه لترك أنطونيو فى حاله .. إلا أن اليهودى الذى يحاول أن يتمايز عن با
...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
Anne Blocker
Sep 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Asma Albishri
Mar 04, 2011 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 !
Trevor
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Piyangie
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is yet another wonderful Shakespearean play that I read. I have watched the play but this is the first time I read it. The play consists of a great story on justice, love, loyalty and mercy. It is full of drama and intrigue and the read was absolutely wonderful.

There is however much criticism on this play for its antisemitic portrayal. It must have been the general view and treatment of the society towards the Jews. But it is doubtful whether Shakespeare used antisemitic portrayal to discr
...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 ..
Mayy Wilde-Shakespeare
“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.”

Wow, this is something else I’ll tell you that much.

My friend and was the one who told to read this as my next Shakespeare and when I asked her why she responded with : " There is this guy who bargains with another guy and if the first guy doesn’t pay the second guy the money back on time he get’s to take a pound of his flesh, from anywhere he wants.".
...more
Alp Turgut
Alt metninde ciddi bir insanlık eleştirisi barındıran "Venedik Taciri / The Merchant of Venice", her ne kadar ırkçı bir tavrı olsa da aslında Hristiyanların dünyasında Yahudi olmanın ne demek olduğunu oldukça çarpıcı diyaloglarla okuyucuya sunan Shakespeare’in oldukça başarılı oyunlarından biri. Shylock karakteriyle yine harikulade bir kötü karaktere imza atan Shakespeare, açgözlülük ve hırs nedeniyle insanların nasıl haklıyken haksız duruma düştüğünü gözler önüne seriyor. Dostluk ve sadakatın e ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Besides being a great Shakespeare play, this is an entertaining read. However, what sticks in my mind was the interruption at the Comédie Française when I saw this performed (in French!) by some Zionist activists in the middle of the play decrying the anti-Semitism of the work. So, yes, there is a stereotypical character in the book that is Jewish and it is not a complimentary positive portrait. But to label the entire work as anti-Semitic seems a little much for me. Shakespeare was, of course, ...more
Emily May
Dec 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, classics
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.
Jonathan Terrington
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2)
  • Anna Karenina
  • Edward II
  • The Real Inspector Hound
  • Volpone
  • A Man for All Seasons
  • The Complete Plays
  • Metamorphoses
  • Caesar and Cleopatra
  • Medea and Other Plays: Medea / Hecabe / Electra / Heracles
  • The Spanish Tragedy
  • Assassins
  • Three by Tennessee: Sweet Bird of Youth; The Rose Tattoo; The Night of the Iguana
  • The Changeling
32,862 followers
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
“You speak an infinite deal of nothing.” 3797 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.”
1678 likes
More quotes…