'Thou call'dst me dog before thou hadst a cause, But since I am a dog, beware my fangs'
Antonio, a Venetian merchant, wishes to help his friend get money to impress a rich heiress. But he is forced to borrow the sum from a cynical, abused Jewish moneylender, Shylock, and signs a chilling contract to honour the debt with a pound of his own flesh. An ambiguous, complex and controversial comedy, The Merchant of Venice explores prejudice, marriage, money and the true nature of justice in an unforgiving world.
General Introduction on Shakespeare and the Elizabethan theatre by Stanley Wells Edited by W. Moelwyn Merchant with an introduction by Peter Holland