The Merchant of Venice

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Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice around 1596-7.
Explore the links on the left to find out more about the play, and some of our previous productions.

Full synopsis
Read the story of The Merchant of Venice in plain English. If you don't want to know how it ends, don't read the last section!

Famous quotes
We've selected some well-known quotes from The Merchant of Venice.

Dating the play
Rebecca Brown explains how we know when Shakespeare actually wrote The Merchant of Venice.

Shakespeare's sources
There's no such thing as an original idea - even for Shakespeare. Rebecca Brown presents the historical sources and contemporary stories which influenced and inspired Shakespeare when he wrote The Merchant of Venice.

Stage history
From its first performances around 1600 up to modern TV and film productions, Rebecca Brown examines The Merchant of Venice in performance.

Production 2011
See production and rehearsal photos from Rupert Goold's flamboyant Las Vegas-set production, complete with an Elvis Presley impersonator and featuring Patrick Stewart as Shylock.

Production 2008
View video extracts and photos from Tim Carroll's production of The Merchant of Venice which featured Angus Wright as Shylock and Georgina Rich as Portia.

Production 1993
View photos from David Thacker's production of The Merchant of Venice which featured David Calder as Shylock and Penny Downie as Portia.

Production 1981
View photos from John Barton's production of The Merchant of Venice which featured David Suchet as Shylock and Sinead Cusack as Portia.

Productions 1932 - 1997
Performance history expert Rebecca Brown describes a selection of our productions.

Resources for teachers
Extra resources for teaching on The Merchant of Venice: activities, synopses, themes and links to more from RSC Education.

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