The Merchant of Venice tells the story of Antonio, who borrows money from the Jewish moneylender Shylock in order to pay his debts. As part of his promise to Shylock, Antonio promises him a pound of flesh if he cannot repay.
Set in Venice, this play is a great way to explore justice and law as well as lots of other themes you can use as routes into the text, including:
You can discover more about these themes and where they appear in the text in our Themes Resource.
There are so many different ways of exploring the text but you may find the following particularly useful in introducing the text:
On 21 April 2016 the RSC will be broadcasting our 2015 production of the play into UK schools for free. If you would like to participate please don’t forget to register. The below guide is also available for anyone watching the broadcast with limited preparation time with students: