Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Useful for the basics
on 3 June 2009
I have had to read The Merchant of Venice for my English degree, but felt that I needed a little help understanding the bigger themes of the text, as I have heard so much about it before.
I came across this book in the hope it would help me gain a better insight to the play as a whole, which I have to say it did. The themes were well explained, as were critical views, character descriptions and so on. However, the aspect that makes me mark this book down is the fact it has so little focus on scene summaries. Each summary is two paragraphs at best in most cases, and this just does not seem adequate for some of the more weighty scenes.
This guide is good to help you understand the context of the play and give you an overall understanding, but just seems to lack in places and so left me a little unsatisfied. It does deliver the material fairly well, but is not that suitable for higher level exams such as A-Levels, and especially degrees, as it claims. A good study guide, but lacking in real in depth analysis. Buy it to help aid your first impressions, but look elsewhere to supplement it too as this book does not really contain enough to carry you confidently through your exam without alternative reading too.