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The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice is the story of a Jewish moneylender who demands that an antisemitic Christian offer “a pound of flesh” as collateral against a loan. First performed in 1598, Shakespeare’s study of religious difference remains controversial. Read a character analysis of Shylock, plot summary and important quotes.

Characters

See a complete list of the characters in The Merchant of Venice and in-depth analyses of Shylock, Portia, and Antonio.

Main Ideas

Here's where you'll find analysis about the play as a whole, from the major themes and ideas to analysis of style, tone, point of view, and more.

Quotes

Find the quotes you need to support your essay, or refresh your memory of the play by reading these key quotes.

Writing Help

Get ready to write your paper on The Merchant of Venice with our suggested essay topics, sample essays, and more.