The Merchant of Venice

SHAKESPEARE'S Merchant of Venice straddles the line between comedy and drama. The theme might be said to be the contradictions between justice and mercy, adding in the first serious appearance in drama of the issue of Jews in England.

RACHEL BURKE has modernized enough of the language for a good reading version of the play, without departing from the deep musicality of Shakespeare's words. She addresses "bardophobia" with a light touch.

ORSON WELLES was eighteen when he drew the sketches throughout this book. His decisive brush strokes capture suggested set designs, scenes, and, in some cases, the actual performers who played Portia or Shylock on stage. The panorama format of the book gives space for these revealing sketches.

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE. William Shakespeare. Ed. Rachel Burke. ISBN 978-0-942208-35-1. $11.95

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