* An introduction to The Merchant of Venice by award-winning scholar Jonathan Bate
* The play – with clear and authoritative explanatory notes on each page
* A helpful scene-by-scene analysis and key facts about the play
* An introduction to Shakespeare's career and the Elizabethan theatre
* A rich exploration of approaches to staging the play featuring photographs of key productions
The most enjoyable way to understand a Shakespeare play is to see it or participate in it. This unique edition presents a historical overview of The Merchant of Venice in performance, recommends film versions, takes a detailed look at specific productions and includes interviews with two leading directors and two actors – Darko Tresnjak, David Thacker, Anthony Sher and Henry Goodman - so that we may get a sense of the extraordinary variety of interpretations that are possible, a variety that gives Shakespeare his unique capacity to be reinvented and made 'our contemporary' four centuries after his death.
Ideal for students, theatre-goers, actors and general readers, the RSC Shakespeare editions offer an accessible and contemporary approach to reading and rediscovering Shakespeare's works for the twenty-first century.