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Web Links

Shakespeare and The Merchant of Venice


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Access etexts of William Shakespeare's works, including The Merchant of Venice, at this feature of The Tech, MIT's largest student newspaper (and one of the first 100 Web sites). Plays are divided by scene or are available in one complete HTML page.

The First Web Folio Edition of Shakespeare's Works
"Shakespeare.com" hosts the Web's First Folio edition of Shakespeare's plays. Texts include line numbers for ease of reference. Forget which scene -- or which play -- a favorite line is from? Two search engines offer options to search all of Shakespeare's works.

Frontline: The Shakespeare Mystery
A debate rages over the true identity of the master playwright we know as "Shakespeare." Was he truly the man from Stratford-Upon-Avon? Or was he well-educated nobleman Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford? Learn about the Stratfordian and Oxfordian arguments through several full-text articles, the Timeline of Doubt, and the transcripts of three debates/mock trials on the question of Shakespeare's authorship. From PBS' Frontline.

Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice
Commissioned by a children's bookseller in 1807, brother and sister authors Charles and Mary Lamb set about adapting 20 of Shakespeare's plays to prose. By contemporizing the language, they sought to make the drama of each story accessible and interesting to a young audience. Here, read their rendition of The Merchant of Venice.

The Merchant of Venice: An early festive comedy
Available here is a plot summary and the full, searchable etext of The Merchant of Venice, courtesy of The Literature Network, which offers searchable online literature for the student, educator, or enthusiast. The site also features a new literature forum where you can share your interpretations with other Shakespeare aficionados. Be sure to sign up for Shakespeare's "Sonnet-A-Day Newsletter."

SparkNotes: The Merchant of Venice
Written exclusively by students and recent graduates, this study guide for The Merchant of Venice provides historical background information, a plot summary and critical analysis, the full text of the play, and study questions.

Standard Deviants TV - Shakespeare Episode
From PBS, the Standard Deviants take a fresh approach to learning in their half-hour episodes, using humor to reinforce key concepts. At their Shakespeare link, you'll find the program transcript and summary, a Shakespeare quiz, questions to think about, as well as a glossary and list of works.

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Shylock and Jewish History

The American Repertory Theatre: The Merchant of Venice
The American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, MA, is a not-for-profit resident theatre active since 1966 as a professional producing organization and a theatrical training conservatory. This site, focusing on a 1998/99 production of Merchant includes articles and interviews.

    The Jew in the Spotlight
    Second only to Hamlet in frequency of performance, The Merchant of Venice is the Shakespeare play people love to hate, especially in the post-war years. Gideon Lester, Resident Dramaturg at the American Repertory Theatre, believes that the undue emphasis on the Jewish moneylender (Shylock appears in just five scenes) belies the beautiful subtlety of Shakespeare's narrative structures.

Internet Jewish History Sourcebook
The Internet Jewish History Sourcebook is a subset of texts derived from Fordham University's extensive online collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use.

The Problem of Shylock: Shylock, the Roman by Robert Schneider
Over the last 400 years, interpretations of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice have focused on religious dichotomy, but Robert Schneider reconsiders the Christian/Jewish conflict in terms of classic Roman honor in Shylock, the Roman. Read a review of the book by Peter Lathan, theatre professional and editorial voice at About.com's British Theatre section.

Shakespeare and Anti-Semitism: The Question of Shylock
This site features a timeline of Jewish History in England, a visual overview of Shylock's stage depictions, and a brief textual analysis of The Merchant of Venice. Based on a lecture Grant Stirling delivered as a teaching assistant at York University in Toronto.

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Shakespeare on Stage

The Reduced Shakespeare Company
What began in 1981 as a three-man company working California Renaissance Festivals, is today the longest-running comedy in London's West End -- and perhaps the shortest compilation of the Bard's 37 works. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) clocks in at just 97 minutes. Learn more about the Reduced Shakespeare Company's irreverent style and other performances, meet the cast, and buy your tickets.

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Opened in June 1997, the reconstructed Globe Theatre owes its existence to the perseverance of founder Sam Wanamaker. Dedicated to the experience and international understanding of Shakespeare in performance, the theatre has a strong educational outreach program. The site features in-depth information about the Theatre and the current season.

    Experimenting with the Globe
    Andrew Gurr, English Professor at the University of Reading, and Director of Globe Research, theorizes about Shakespeare's involvement with the original Globe and its operation, and raises interpretive questions that he hopes the reconstructed stage experience will answer.

    Findings from the Globe 1998 Season: The Merchant of Venice
    Dr. Pauline Kiernan, a Shakespeare scholar and playwright, evaluates the Globe's 1998 performance of The Merchant of Venice, particularly staging and audience interaction.

Stratford Festival, Ontario
The Merchant of Venice runs through November 3, 2001 at the Stratford Festival of Canada. View a short clip of the trial scene with Real Player.

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Bibliography


Bate, Jonathan, ed., and Russell Jackson. Shakespeare: An Illustrated Stage History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Brode, Douglas. Shakespeare in the Movies: From the Silent Era to Shakespeare in Love. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Eagleson, Robert D. (ed.). A Shakespeare Glossary. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Epstein, Norrie. The Friendly Shakespeare: A Thoroughly Painless Guide to the Best of the Bard. New York: Viking, 1993.

Gross, John. Shylock: A Legend & Its Legacy. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.

Gurr, Andrew. The Shakespearean Stage 1574-1642, 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Holden, Anthony. William Shakespeare: The Man Behind the Genius. Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1999.

Levi, Peter. The Life and Times of William Shakespeare. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1988.

MacRone, Michael. Brush Up Your Shakespeare! New York: HarperResource, 2000.

Malless, Stanley and Jeffery McQuain. Coined by Shakespeare: Words and Meanings First Used by the Bard. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam Webster, 1998.

Romain, Jonathan A. The Jews of England: a portrait of Anglo-Jewry through original sources and illustrations. London: Michael Goulston Educational Foundation in association with Jewish Chronicle Publications, 1988.

Shapiro, James. Shakespeare and the Jews. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.


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