The Merchant of Venice (Play on Shakespeare)
In an epic undertaking, 36 playwrights have been commissioned to translate 39 plays of Shakespeare. One of them, Elise Thoron, has taken on The Merchant of Venice. In this play, we meet Bassanio who longs to marry the beautiful Portia. However, he does not possess the funds to do so, so he asks his good friend Antonio for help. Antonio gladly lets him use his name to procure credit from Shylock, the Jewish moneylender. Shylock hates Antonio and will only give Bassanio credit if he can make the terms. The terms involve lending him the money for three months and if he does not pay it back, he will take a pound of flesh from Antonio. ||This was my first introduction to this play. I was surprised how many of our popular idioms come from this play alone. The play is witty and clever, but the Anti-Semitism is clearly obvious. Shakespeare makes Shylock so mean and his other characters so likable, that you have to remind yourself it’s their actions that matter, not their religion. This translation is easy to read, but retains the iambic pentameter and flow of an original Shakespeare. Overall, very well done.
|Page Count||130 pages|
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