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on 8 May 2016
I don't like the way this is laid out on my iPad. difficult to see which actor is speaking. Also I wonder if it was transcribed by an English speaker when u and v are exchanged eg loued for loved. Wish I'd looked at a sample before going for this edition.
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VINE VOICEon 7 January 2009
The joy of Shakespeare from an actor's point of view is the myriad ways you can perform them. And Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's best plays for that reason - each of the characters is so open to interpretation that this play (even more than is usual for Shakespeare) could be put together in almost infinite ways. Add to that the scene which gave birth to all today's courtroom dramas, and one Shakespeare's most famous and interesting characters in Shylock, and this is a play which I recommend highly for potential actors/directors and audience members.

Normally Arden editions are my edition of choice by a long way, and that is still true here. But the introduction is rather dated in this edition - it was written around 50 years ago - and this means that some issues in the play (notably the potentially homosexual relationship between Antonio and Bassanio) are totally skimmed over, where in a recently written edition I am sure this would be explored in full. Having said that, though, the notes are informative to the right level and the text is authoritative.

The dated intro means I've dropped it a star... If Arden bring out a new edition it'll get a fifth...
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on 14 January 2009
This book is great! It has a section about Shakespear at the start, with everything you could ever want to know about him. An Intoduction to The Merchant of Venice, withe the history of the story and interesting facts about the play, notes on the play and a glossary at the back. For a young actor being flung in the deep end with shakespear, this was a really helpful book.
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on 29 April 2001
Few people would quibble with the labelling of the 'Merchant' as a masterpiece. Seen in today's light it appears as a bitter attack on prejudice and anti-Semitism as well as a scathing inditement on 16th Century Christian arrogance and hypocrisy. This combined with sarcastic nuance and a genuinely thrilling court scene make the play a true classic. Moelwyn Merchant adds significantly to the understanding of the text and enables the reader to grasp the genius of Shakespeare more fully. He makes incisive points that will help any student studying the text or any actor who wishes to understand his character more fully. A definite recommendation for anyone who has to read the play or just for the literary enthusiast. I defy anyone to dislike this play.
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on 5 May 2003
Oxford School Shakespeare editions of the Bard's most popular plays are reassuring for students tackling Shakespeare for the first time and their edition of 'The Merchant of Venice' is no exception. The text is set out clearly with notes alongside, allowing instant access to brief explanations of words and phrases that may be difficult to understand for students in the 21st century, but not too much is given away, thus allowing pupils to work it out for themselves.
Attractive full-page photographs of recent productions allow students to see that these are plays that are regularly performed in the theatre in many different styles and time settings. My students are always pleased if they recognize an actor from the telly in them!
Beyond the text, there are helpful resumes of the action, both a brief one and a more complete summary, interesting background and historical information and, varied and thought-provoking assignments that can work well with a variety of different levels and age groups - always a relief for hard-pressed teachers!
I think Oxford School Shakespeare editions work well and I recommend them for use with classes from years 8 to 11. For a more drama-based approach, try the new Longman's or Cambridge School editions.
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on 25 July 2010
The Merchant of Venice isn't one of Shakespeare's most well known plays, but it's no less as good as the others. Shylock is a jew living in a society in which the majority are Christians. Shylock lends money and warns that if it is not paid back then he should have a pound of flesh from the borrower. This is a novel which brings many debates, such as the Christians treatment to the Jewish and whether Shylock nearly was the villian. I studied this for my A Levels and i enjoyed it very much. It's filled with many lines that you may recognise (neither lender nor borrower be. All that glisters is not gold).
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on 19 July 2010
This was not what I expected - my fault I think for not reading the blurb properly. It's a great GCSE text as it includes the play with very clear commentary and some extra info on context at the start. I had wanted pure analysis. As a GCSE aid it is 5 stars.
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on 22 March 2013
This book was a great help with my daughters Foundation Course at University. if you can also buy The Merchant Of Venice (York Notes) which works great alongside this book.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 July 2009
Good version - but the new RSC Macmillan series is better although this title not yet available in that series.
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on 28 January 2016
Excellent product. Just what my daughter needs for school
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