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The Merchant of Venice: A Critical Reader
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The Merchant of Venice: A Critical Reader (Hardback)

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Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice has often been labelled a "problem play", and throughout the ages it has been an object of both fascination and repulsion. Because it infamously dramatizes the figure of 'the Jew', the play has been especially hard to tackle since the Shoah. Without neglecting the socio-political and religious issues that are at the heart of the play, this collection of critical essays invites readers to rediscover the variety of approaches that this multifaceted work calls for, exploring its gender aspects, its rich mythological background, its legal matters and the ways in which it has been adapted to the screen.

In the first part, chapters consider the play in relation to its sources, genre and religious, historical and socio-political context and its critical reception in different periods. Its rich performance history is surveyed, with particular attention given to 20th century stage and film productions in Europe, America and around the world, and readers are introduced to a panorama of recent critical research and approaches to the play.

Moving through to four new critical essays, the guide opens up fresh perspectives on the complex intersections of gender, religion and race in the play from the perspective of Affect Theory; examines the mythological material in the work, focusing on the final scene; considers the place, power and credibility of rhetoric in the play, and offers in-depth treatment of screen versions and their portrayal of Shylock since Geraldo lo Savio's film of 1911, through to early 21st century films.

The volume finishes with a helpful guide to critical and web-based resources and suggests strategies for exploring this unsettling play in the classroom.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: c 1500 to c 1800Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: plays & playwrights Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC Publication Date: 15/10/2020 ISBN-13: 9781350082298  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order for despatch on publication. Pre-Order

Sarah Hatchuel is Professor in Film & Media Studies at the university Paul-Valery Montpellier 3, France, and President of the Societe Francaise Shakespeare. She has written extensively on adaptations of Shakespeare's plays (Shakespeare and the Cleopatra/Caesar Intertext: Sequel, Conflation, Remake, 2011; Shakespeare, from Stage to Screen, 2004; A Companion to the Shakespearean Films of Kenneth Branagh, 2000) and on TV series. Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin is Professor in Shakespeare studies at the University Paul-Valery Montpellier 3, France, Vice President of the Societe Francaise Shakespeare and director of the "Institut de Recherche sur la Renaissance, l'age Classique et les Lumieres". She has published The Unruly Tongue in Early Modern England, Three Treatises (2012) and is the author of Shakespeare's Insults: A Pragmatic Dictionary (2016).

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