WEFOUNDThe Merchant of Venice (Dream Classics)


The title page of the first edition of the play, printed in 1600, states that it has been 'divers times acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his Servants'. The first recorded performance was at court on Shrove Sunday, 10 February, 1605. King James and his courtiers must have enjoyed it because it was performed again two days later.

Public, rather than court, performances of Shakespeare's plays were performed in the open air, in daylight, on a simple thrust stage. No scenery and a minimum of props allowed the action to move swiftly and the audience to focus on the language. Music and costume added to the effect. Shakespeare wrote his plays with the strengths and talents of his fellow players in mind. His gifted boy players took the female roles so that the original audience had the unsettling experience of watching boys playing girls playing boys in the roles of Portia and Nerissa in the trial scene.

It is impossible to know how Shylock was first played. Since the early nineteenth century, Shylock has usually been played with dignity and a measure of understanding of why he does what he does. Perhaps the role was originally played by Will Kemp, the leading comic actor in the group, and the portrayal was harshly comic and influenced by the traditions of commedia dell'arte, or, perhaps, played in the red wig and false nose worn by villainous Jewish characters in the medieval Mystery plays. Perhaps Richard Burbage, the actor building a reputation for himself in tragic roles took the part - we simply don't know.

The title page of the first edition of the play, printed in 1600, states that it has been 'divers times acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his Servants'. The first recorded performance was at court on Shrove Sunday, 10 February, 1605. King James and his courtiers must have enjoyed it because it was performed again two days later.

Public, rather than court, performances of Shakespeare's plays were performed in the open air, in daylight, on a simple thrust stage. No scenery and a minimum of props allowed the action to move swiftly and the audience to focus on the language. Music and costume added to the effect. Shakespeare wrote his plays with the strengths and talents of his fellow players in mind. His gifted boy players took the female roles so that the original audience had the unsettling experience of watching boys playing girls playing boys in the roles of Portia and Nerissa in the trial scene.

It is impossible to know how Shylock was first played. Since the early nineteenth century, Shylock has usually been played with dignity and a measure of understanding of why he does what he does. Perhaps the role was originally played by Will Kemp, the leading comic actor in the group, and the portrayal was harshly comic and influenced by the traditions of commedia dell'arte, or, perhaps, played in the red wig and false nose worn by villainous Jewish characters in the medieval Mystery plays. Perhaps Richard Burbage, the actor building a reputation for himself in tragic roles took the part - we simply don't know.

The Merchant of Venice
Through Oct. 1 at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J.; 973-655-5112, peakperfs.org. Running time: 2 hours.

The title page of the first quarto printing of The Merchant of Venice (1600) gives a succinct summary of the plot: ‘The most excellent historie of the merchant of Venice. With the extreame crueltie of Shylocke the Jewe towards the sayd merchant, in cutting a just pound of his flesh: and the obtayning of Portia by the choyse of three chests.’

The merchant Antonio sets the plot in motion by agreeing to lend his friend Bassanio money so that he can woo Portia, a rich and beautiful heiress from Belmont near Venice. In an attempt to protect her from suitors who are only interested in her money, Portia’s father has put a test in place: a choice of three boxes in gold, silver and lead. With some assistance from Portia, Bassanio realises the lead is supposed to be the choice symbolising pure intentions. So they marry, as do Bassanio’s friend Gratiano and Portia’s lady-in-waiting Nerissa.

Click here for a short PDF summary of the sources relating to The Merchant of Venice from 'Discovering Literature: Shakespeare' .

The title page of the first edition of the play, printed in 1600, states that it has been 'divers times acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his Servants'. The first recorded performance was at court on Shrove Sunday, 10 February, 1605. King James and his courtiers must have enjoyed it because it was performed again two days later.

Public, rather than court, performances of Shakespeare's plays were performed in the open air, in daylight, on a simple thrust stage. No scenery and a minimum of props allowed the action to move swiftly and the audience to focus on the language. Music and costume added to the effect. Shakespeare wrote his plays with the strengths and talents of his fellow players in mind. His gifted boy players took the female roles so that the original audience had the unsettling experience of watching boys playing girls playing boys in the roles of Portia and Nerissa in the trial scene.

It is impossible to know how Shylock was first played. Since the early nineteenth century, Shylock has usually been played with dignity and a measure of understanding of why he does what he does. Perhaps the role was originally played by Will Kemp, the leading comic actor in the group, and the portrayal was harshly comic and influenced by the traditions of commedia dell'arte, or, perhaps, played in the red wig and false nose worn by villainous Jewish characters in the medieval Mystery plays. Perhaps Richard Burbage, the actor building a reputation for himself in tragic roles took the part - we simply don't know.

The Merchant of Venice
Through Oct. 1 at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J.; 973-655-5112, peakperfs.org. Running time: 2 hours.

The title page of the first quarto printing of The Merchant of Venice (1600) gives a succinct summary of the plot: ‘The most excellent historie of the merchant of Venice. With the extreame crueltie of Shylocke the Jewe towards the sayd merchant, in cutting a just pound of his flesh: and the obtayning of Portia by the choyse of three chests.’

The merchant Antonio sets the plot in motion by agreeing to lend his friend Bassanio money so that he can woo Portia, a rich and beautiful heiress from Belmont near Venice. In an attempt to protect her from suitors who are only interested in her money, Portia’s father has put a test in place: a choice of three boxes in gold, silver and lead. With some assistance from Portia, Bassanio realises the lead is supposed to be the choice symbolising pure intentions. So they marry, as do Bassanio’s friend Gratiano and Portia’s lady-in-waiting Nerissa.

Click here for a short PDF summary of the sources relating to The Merchant of Venice from 'Discovering Literature: Shakespeare' .

Contact your hosting provider letting them know your web server is not completing requests. An Error 522 means that the request was able to connect to your web server, but that the request didn't finish. The most likely cause is that something on your server is hogging resources. Additional troubleshooting information here.

Cloudflare Ray ID: 3e5159f2a5a94e4e • Your IP : 62.109.12.231 • Performance & security by Cloudflare

The title page of the first edition of the play, printed in 1600, states that it has been 'divers times acted by the Lord Chamberlaine his Servants'. The first recorded performance was at court on Shrove Sunday, 10 February, 1605. King James and his courtiers must have enjoyed it because it was performed again two days later.

Public, rather than court, performances of Shakespeare's plays were performed in the open air, in daylight, on a simple thrust stage. No scenery and a minimum of props allowed the action to move swiftly and the audience to focus on the language. Music and costume added to the effect. Shakespeare wrote his plays with the strengths and talents of his fellow players in mind. His gifted boy players took the female roles so that the original audience had the unsettling experience of watching boys playing girls playing boys in the roles of Portia and Nerissa in the trial scene.

It is impossible to know how Shylock was first played. Since the early nineteenth century, Shylock has usually been played with dignity and a measure of understanding of why he does what he does. Perhaps the role was originally played by Will Kemp, the leading comic actor in the group, and the portrayal was harshly comic and influenced by the traditions of commedia dell'arte, or, perhaps, played in the red wig and false nose worn by villainous Jewish characters in the medieval Mystery plays. Perhaps Richard Burbage, the actor building a reputation for himself in tragic roles took the part - we simply don't know.

The Merchant of Venice
Through Oct. 1 at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, Montclair, N.J.; 973-655-5112, peakperfs.org. Running time: 2 hours.


51mt5mAInRL