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Title of the book: The merchant of Venice
The author: William Shakespeare
Date of publication: 1596-1598
Author's life: He was born on 23rd April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was a great poet and dramatist, he is considered the most important English writer; he is called "the swan of Avon". He left us 37 plays and 154 sonnets but we don't have anything about his private life, which gave many doubts about his physical aspect, his sexuality and his religion. The scientists have dedicated him an asteroid, which is called "2985 Shakespeare". He died on 23rd April 1616, when he was 52 in his home town
Other poems: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, King John, Macbeth
Book genre: The merchant of Venice is the play
Themes: The text resumes the novel of the fourteenth century
Author's style: He used the blank verse, many kennings, enjambement
Characters: Shylok, Portia, Antonio, Bassanio, Graziano, Jessica, Lorenzo, Nerissa

Summary: The noble Bassanio asks Antonio to give him 3000 ducats to court a rich heiress, Portia. Antonio borrows the money to a Jew moneylender, Shylok; if Antonio didn't return the sum, Shylok would take one pound of flesh of Antonio. Bassanio succeeds in marrying Portia, but the merchant, Antonio, can't pay his debt. With a great stratagem Portia, pretending to be a lawyer, saves Antonio

Comment: I really like this story for its weaving but I agree with the criticism because it's obvious that in the text there are subliminal anti-semitic messages, for example in the end forced conversion of Shylok, the jew moneylender. I would have preferred a different ending

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