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Extended Audio Sample The Merchant of Venice Audiobook, by William Shakespeare Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (335,329 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Shakespeare Narrator: Elizabeth Klett Publisher: Author's Republic Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2016 ISBN: 9781518925955
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William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice was probably written between 1596 and 1598, and was printed with the comedies in the First Folio of 1623. Bassanio, an impoverished gentleman, uses the credit of his friend, the merchant Antonio, to borrow money from a wealthy Jew, Shylock. Antonio pledges to pay Shylock a pound of flesh if he defaults on the loan, which Bassanio will use to woo a rich heiress, Portia. A subplot concerns the elopement of Shylock's daughter Jessica with a Christian, Bassanio's friend Lorenzo. In its focus on love and marriage, the play shares certain concerns with Shakespeare's other comedies. Yet its depiction of the tensions between Jews and Christians in early modern Venice - and its highly dramatic trial scene in Act 4 - create darker currents in the play. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shari | 2/19/2014

    " While I find parts of this play to be utterly ludicrous (gold, silver, or lead, anyone?!), I am utterly haunted by the character of Shylock, and by his daughter Jessica. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joy | 2/18/2014

    " Since this was required reading in school, I decided to read it as an adult. Still not one of my favorites. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Bastian | 2/18/2014

    " One of Shakespeare's best works and so often overlooked. Portia is an incredibly string female character, especially for the time period. Great humor, suspense, and drama. A masterpiece! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Timm DiStefano | 2/18/2014

    " "Never trust a man who isn't moved by music." ... "Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh. Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou less nor more But just a pound of flesh" "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dmack | 2/17/2014

    " sorry not a shakespeare fan at all; read in college "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lady Shahrizai | 2/16/2014

    " I read this in high school and I have no idea which version it was. (Too long ago to even desire to figure this out.) I loved the story and Shakespeare's style and still do to this day. (This includes most of his works with with I'm familiar but haven't yet read.) I've seen movie adaptations of several of his works ... none of which I've felt succeeded. I just don't think Shakespeare's writings translate well to American film-making. (I don't know about the British.) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Monica | 2/16/2014

    " My English teacher made my class read it and like most of the teens in my class, I was confused. Once I did get explanations from my classmate and the teacher line by line explaining things...I didn't like this book. Classic lit never really blows me away and it just doesn't keep me interested for very long. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simone | 2/15/2014

    " This is a play that really highlights inequality, be it between man and woman, or among different creeds and races. Nevertheless, the skill and sheer force of the underdog are shown in the characters Shylock and Portia. Portia is the strongest character of the whole play, even though being stuck in an impossible situation, and being relieved of it by chance, in the only moment her lover, Bassanio, shows any ability at all. Portia solves all the problems the others were unable to deal with, in one of the most ingenious turns, worthy of any real barrister. Also striking is her integrity, especially in comparison to Bassanio's. Whereas she was able to bear her burden because of the oath she had sworn her father, he is unable to keep the ring she gave him. In the end, I think she forgives him because she knows she has no match and she was the one who played him, and therefore she cannot expect too much from him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie Reynolds | 2/13/2014

    " Trying to get this play read before discussion of it on Sunday! Hard to believe that I had three Shakespeare classes in college and never read Merchant of Venice! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 2/10/2014

    " I love Shakespeare because of the way all the plots became woven together and the complexity of the characters. The hypocrisy by some of the characters was very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rana Burr | 2/10/2014

    " A fascinating play by an even more fascinating playwright. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sophi | 2/7/2014

    " 2 words. I. Love. Willy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia Michell | 2/6/2014

    " My first Shakespeare, I am word perfect and love it, the film is a must see too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob | 2/5/2014

    " Hard to enjoy today with the startling anti-semitism and the unattractive male leads (money-grubbing bachelors hunting for the wealthy brides/curiously unmotivated self sacrifice)....and bright, witty but manipulative portia. But some great passages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bhuvanesh Raj | 2/4/2014

    " One of my favorite book of Shakespeare. I love the way story gets unfold. Shakespeare has brilliantly portrayed the characters. Must read for those who love classic literature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Idris Mohammed | 2/4/2014

    " Terrible memories of this literature. But you COULD say it wasnt half bad.. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chrystal | 2/3/2014

    " The ending is totally contrived to fit the ideas of a "comedy" but overall, the basic dynamics of the play are pretty interesting to unravel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nickie | 2/3/2014

    " For our Shakespeare class. Really enjoyable experience talking about laws of the land, laws of God. The figures Antonio and Shylock represent... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kassim114 | 2/1/2014

    " keep your friend close but your enemy closer "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristoffer | 2/1/2014

    " Do we not bleed? Love it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher Gordon | 1/31/2014

    " and it felt like giving a pound of flesh trying to get to the end. A book to quote ...not to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara Lynn Tanner | 1/31/2014

    " Too many reduce this play to race and politics. There is a very human and fascinating story here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Obote O.clause | 1/29/2014

    " A story that cuts across money lending and love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abdullah AlSaidy | 1/26/2014

    " one of the best !! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric Zimmerman | 1/26/2014

    " This is the one with the persecuted Jew. Very powerful and relevant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ng'ethe Maina | 1/26/2014

    " Loved the whole plot, but I really didn't like the ending, on how Shylock was used as a symbol of evil. I believe he was acting out of how he was raised and how their culture was raised. It's funny how Antonio is depicted as a saint which in contrast Shylock reveals his true nature towards the Jews and he still comes out without a scratch yet Shylock loses everything. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rick | 1/26/2014

    " Required reading in a high school lit class. Would probably appreciate it more if I re-read now "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 1/23/2014

    " It's been a while since I have read Shakespeare - luckily, I read the version that had the modern English on the adjacent page. However, the more I read, the more the old language made sense. I am always surprised at how modern a Shakespeare tale can feel, even in the old English. The story is timeless and entertaining, though the discord between Jews and Christians was very outdated. It's been a while since one was forced into Christianity. I enjoyed many of the characters - especially Portia and Bassanio. There were a few I never quite got, and I think in a modern adaptation, some of the many extraneous characters would have to go. I kept getting a little confused about who was who, and of course it doesn't make it easier when they don a disguise! The Merchant of Venice is a great read for getting back into Shakespeare after twenty something years. What's next? Maybe Much Ado About Nothing - I'm inspired by the 6th grade play this year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joodi | 1/19/2014

    " I saw the movie after I studied this play. It was really amazing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheila | 1/19/2014

    " To bait fish withal: if it feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge! If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge! The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. Yes, I memorized that whole speech for a high school english class, and am proud to say I can still recite the whole thing today. Are you impressed? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ajay | 1/18/2014

    " all done in my school days . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 1/18/2014

    " I have seen this play performed, but I have not read it the way I have read Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 1/18/2014

    " This is a very good book and shows how horrible people can be. Shylock's Hath Not A Jew speech is really touching. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amber | 1/14/2014

    " This is one of my most favorite Shakespearean plays to read! It touches my heart. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 1/14/2014

    " a nice read. Not too exciting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison Zink | 1/13/2014

    " This edition of The Merchant of Venice not only includes the play itself, but also critical essays that provide historical context and perspective that guide one's navigation of the play. It is an invaluable resource. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Felice Kelly | 1/13/2014

    " OK, so the whole Shylock anti-semitism thing sucks. In fact, it's a sharp reminder of how badly Jews have been treated even in supposedly permissive societies. But the play is funny and poignant and has a lot of lovely language in it. I recommend reading it out loud with friends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ria | 1/13/2014

    " My favorite of Shakespeare's comedies!!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 1/10/2014

    " I liked this one but it isn't my favorite Shakespeare. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Golda Gabriel | 1/9/2014

    " One of my favorites...even memorized Shylock's defense for class in high school, and i still know it now "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaitlyn Affuso | 1/6/2014

    " It was hard to get into, but by Act II (roughly) it became much more interesting. It is a polar opposite of "Much Ado." "Merchant" is dark, tragic and pokes at sensitive topics. This tragedy play is for a reader looking for something grave and dark to crack open. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jaime | 1/2/2014

    " I think that this is one of Shaespeare's wittiest plays with a great villain and hero. Portia is the angel of justice. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Romy | 12/31/2013

    " Muy astuta el desenvolvimiento de los personajes, pero no me gusto que denigran y hablan mal de los Judios,muy antisemita.Quizas por esa eposa si era ampliamente aceptado. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alyson | 12/26/2013

    " I love Shakespeare, especially when I have the opportunity to see the play the day after finishing reading it! Pure brilliance! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara Lynn | 12/23/2013

    " Ok, this is definitely my favorite piece of Shakespeare. It's funny, extremely entertaining, and remarkably insightful. It's also one of the most sexually open plays in the first Folio. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chrissy | 12/20/2013

    " Chilling, uncomfortable, and tough to chew through-- not because it's bad, but because it's sort of heavy, sad in a strange way and hopeful in another. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zack Mack | 12/20/2013

    " Similar to Gatsby by having false hope and symbolism and really was a good introduction to Shakespeare. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nadadora | 12/18/2013

    " A great novel I love it my first novel that Shakespeare wrote it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zocurtis | 12/17/2013

    " A very good read. It shows the reader what's most important in life or something of the sort. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 12/11/2013

    " I love how the play has been interpreted in so many different ways throughout the years. It's really a story that reflects our cultural back to us. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 RK Byers | 11/16/2013

    " i can't front: when the guy's good, he's good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina Cowan | 11/16/2013

    " Now matter how many times I read this I always find a nuance that I missed the previous times. This is one of my favorite Shakepeares. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nimmaz | 11/14/2013

    " Buku ini bercerita tentang kesetiaan dua bersahabat yang melawan seorang lintah darat .Pada mulanya memang sangat pedih dan penuh hal yang pelik .Namun semua itu berakhir dengan kebahagiaan .Lintah darat pun memperoleh akibat dari semua perbuatan yang dilakukannya. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren Tuttle | 11/13/2013

    " I have a difficult time reading Shakespeare but I enjoyed the plot of this play and the themes after my Proffessor explained them to me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jaime | 11/11/2013

    " I think that this is one of Shaespeare's wittiest plays with a great villain and hero. Portia is the angel of justice. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel C. | 11/2/2013

    " An extra star for the legal shenanigans, but I put this one in the same category as "Taming of the Shrew." It hasn't aged well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela Hill | 11/1/2013

    " The highlight of this play is certainly Portia's speech on the quality of mercy. We are all inclined to want our "pound of flesh." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dawn Araujo | 10/31/2013

    " I don't know how I feel about that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 10/27/2013

    " unlike high school, I read Shakespeare and actually understood what is going on (thanks partly to the Kindle and dictionary function)...this Bill Shakespeare guy knows how to write. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dray | 10/26/2013

    " I actually found this play quite tragic. To speak so eloquently of mercy and then turn around and rip someone's life apart as revenge is a tragedy. I'm looking at you, Portia. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenissa | 9/26/2013

    " Pretty good so far...I haven't figured out where it's going yet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 9/25/2013

    " I have seen this play performed, but I have not read it the way I have read Macbeth, Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abdullah AlSaidy | 9/8/2013

    " one of the best !! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gabi | 9/8/2013

    " Okay, I haven't analzyed this one eitehr, and, try as I might, I could NOT get over the Anti-Semitism displayed! Not on my own! Give me time, and I'll find it AMAZING, I promise "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brendan William | 8/22/2013

    " Another one of my all time favorites. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kayla | 8/8/2013

    " Good book! It's better to hear it than to read it in my opinion-it is a play after all! Hilarious! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeni | 7/28/2013

    " I read this play the other day while at work. I was actually really surprised by how much i liked it. In my opinion, it was short and too the point, which isn't always like shakespeare. I loved how it played out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 7/20/2013

    " I love Shakespeare because of the way all the plots became woven together and the complexity of the characters. The hypocrisy by some of the characters was very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fatima Janneh | 7/14/2013

    " Most likely my favorite play by Shakespeare "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Breton | 6/15/2013

    " Favourite Shakespeare play :). Well, from the ones I've read so far "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leah | 4/17/2013

    " With each reading, I find this play more disturbing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shaoni Bhuto | 4/8/2013

    " What a character...call him negative. Call him wicked. Call him a devil. Hate him...but still, what a character!!! - Shylock... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arshia Zehra | 3/28/2013

    " its just a gr8 book.............don't have words for it........ "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tory W | 3/18/2013

    " I wasn't sure about this story. Kind of strange and unclear. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin Canterbury | 3/5/2013

    " Shakespeare... nothing more to say :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shanella | 2/18/2013

    " One of my favourite Shakespeare plays. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 A. E. | 1/29/2013

    " I actually have had the pleasure of seeing this play performed on stage. Hysterically funny, with tender moments and upsurges of human triumph, The Merchant of Venice is an essential to the education of any English or creative writing major. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Manish | 1/24/2013

    " For me some things in this book is still not clear for me... at end few points are explained clearly that are suspense in mid of the story but not all at least not for me... may be that's why Shakespeare to tough to read... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rawan Mohammad | 1/2/2013

    " My first William Shakespeare book.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elda Kocks-de | 12/27/2012

    " Okay: first off, I am of the Christian faith.The Screwtape letters [CS Lewis] and The Merchant of Venice = amazingly fresh look at Christianity. Totally brilliantly written, I think... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elisabeth | 11/7/2012

    " "A pound of flesh"... I love the irony of this play but don't like the racism that existed at that time "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chantel | 10/16/2012

    " This one is funny! Lol "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Glorious.Clio | 8/17/2012

    " The quality of Mercy? It would have been more merciful not to have read this play. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ruth | 8/15/2012

    " Like the original chick flick. Dramatic and relationship obsessed. Saw this being performed in the park and thought I would give it a read. Pretty boring to say the least "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roanne Araneta | 8/4/2012

    " i like this so much! haha i presented this back when i was in high school. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marion | 7/9/2012

    " One of my favorite Shakespeare plays - it helps that I had an amazing professor teach this play! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maike Bruls | 6/13/2012

    " I liked it, but there are other plays that I like more. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dmack | 6/5/2012

    " sorry not a shakespeare fan at all; read in college "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tina | 5/27/2012

    " Read a student version, which helped me quite a bit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peni Desiana | 5/8/2012

    " Bahan kuliah drama dan Skripsi. Double Trouble. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isaac | 4/29/2012

    " As all Shakespeare plays, I should probably read it a seconded time, or preferably see it preformed "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Felice Kelly | 4/28/2012

    " OK, so the whole Shylock anti-semitism thing sucks. In fact, it's a sharp reminder of how badly Jews have been treated even in supposedly permissive societies. But the play is funny and poignant and has a lot of lovely language in it. I recommend reading it out loud with friends. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dmack | 3/19/2012

    " sorry not a shakespeare fan at all; read in college "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claux Lopez | 3/15/2012

    " Me gusto mucho el lenguaje tan correcto, y la manera en como antonio en si demuestra el amor por bassanio... pero lo que mas me gusto de todo es lo que el juez dice a shylock.. "puedes cortarle, pero no debe sangrar" :O "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 3/8/2012

    " First book of Shakespeare's I ever read - Grade 9 ....... thoroughly enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mercedes | 3/1/2012

    " Reading this book made me fully appreciate Shakespeare's works. And at the end of it all, I could not help but pity Shylock. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mikenliza | 2/13/2012

    " This book has actual Shakespeare's words on one page, and a modern English version on the facing page. It makes it much easier to understand. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shereef | 11/21/2011

    " My favorite of all of Shakespeare plays "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sharon | 11/20/2011

    " Strange that my high school included this play in freshman English. Not exactly a rousing introduction to Shakespeare. In fact, I was so unimpressed, I refer to him as "the author of..." in my essay! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evan Meekhoff | 11/17/2011

    " Good story, but the characters are a little different. But I guess Thea's how people were back then. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 10/27/2011

    " Anything Shakespeare gets 5 stars from me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 a | 10/8/2011

    " In sooth I know not why I am so sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kenzie | 9/7/2011

    " "The quality of mercy is not strained" monolouge is AMAZING!! Justice is high demanding! LOVE IT!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shyanne Hurley-Phillip | 9/7/2011

    " Yet another great book. not as great as julius ceasar though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gabi | 9/3/2011

    " Okay, I haven't analzyed this one eitehr, and, try as I might, I could NOT get over the Anti-Semitism displayed! Not on my own! Give me time, and I'll find it AMAZING, I promise "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carly | 8/25/2011

    " Read this in 2010 for my English class. I don't really recall the story all that much, but it certainly did not really have an effect upon me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Esther | 8/21/2011

    " I finished it in 2 days, but I still didn't really get it-- but I know I like it :). I wanna read more Shakespeares... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel (Sfogs) | 8/21/2011

    " My sister read it at school and said it was very good, and I completely agree! :D "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Luke Dombroski | 7/30/2011

    " I've recently begun reading Shakespeare. 5 or 6 plays in, this is by far one of the best. A difficult play to perform, but an easy and good read. Portia's scenes were a little slow, but as a Shakespeare "Problem Play," it's great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beverly | 6/15/2011

    " I read this back in 7th grade, but I can't remember much about it unfortunately. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 5/26/2011

    " This play is just silly. I enjoyed Jew of Malta much more "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dmack | 5/20/2011

    " sorry not a shakespeare fan at all; read in college "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela | 5/20/2011

    " Mercy is greater than justice. Indeed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mercedes | 5/15/2011

    " Reading this book made me fully appreciate Shakespeare's works. And at the end of it all, I could not help but pity Shylock. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nina | 5/15/2011

    " So I'm reading this for school and I actually like it so far. I've just finished Act IV scene 1 and I'm preforming Shylock's soliolquy in Act III on Thursday. Overall, I've liked it and can't wait to read more Shakespeare this summer! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deepti | 5/13/2011

    " It has been read and over-read for school till it has lost all its dramatic value for me. But the true fact of the matter is that Shylock is an everlasting character who will never erase himself from common memory. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard | 5/10/2011

    " Of the very very few works by Shakespeare that I've read, this is the best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lacey | 5/6/2011

    " I enjoy reading Shakespeare although it can be a bit laborious at times. Thank goodness they aren't very long! This play had a profound message about mercy and justice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emma | 5/4/2011

    " One of my favorite Shakespeare plays! The racial and religious prejudice theme is so relevant today. I empathize with Shylock's character each time and I think this play really shows how Shakespeare was so ahead of his time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joash | 5/4/2011

    " i thought the play will end that shylock has taken his pound of flesh from antonio but it came as a suprise that the court ordered him to instead pay antonio for thretening his life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 5/3/2011

    " A comedy? Really? Very dark. Could have been the Pulp Fiction of its time if Bill threw in some actual killing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jarika | 5/2/2011

    " Awesome...GREAT ending...this is what surprise endings are made of!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Minah | 5/1/2011

    " Great play! It makes me still enthusiastic to read next line. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marco | 4/27/2011

    " Poco divertente dal punto di vista della commedia, ma istruttivo e bello, scorrevole e dolce verso la fine. Shakespeare rimane un mito del teatro. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 4/26/2011

    " Yeah... I read it before we actually had to for English, so I have to read it again. Whatever, it's a good book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee | 4/23/2011

    " Being an English major/English teacher, I enjoy almost all Shakespeare. Merchant of Venice is one of the first plays I read (high school) and I enjoyed it mostly for the vivid characters Shakespea created, especially Shylock, who garnered my ire and my sympathy. "

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About the Author
Author William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (1564–1616), English poet and dramatist of the Elizabethan and early Jacobean period, is the most widely known author in all of English literature and often considered the greatest. He was an active member of a theater company for at least twenty years, during which time he wrote many great plays. Plays were not prized as literature at the time, and Shakespeare was not widely read until the middle of the eighteenth century, when a great upsurge of interest in his works began that continues today.