The Merchant of Venice is perhaps most associated not with its titular hero, Antonio, but with the complex figure of the money-lender, Shylock. The play was described as a comedy in the First Folio but its modern audiences find it more problematic to categorize. The vilification of Shylock ‘the Jew’ can be very uncomfortable for a post-holocaust audience, and debates continue as to whether Shakespeare’s portrayal of this complex man is sympathetic or anti-semitic. A exacting and controversial comedy, The Merchant of Venice explores prejudice and the true nature of justice.
Illustrated throughout by Sir John Gilbert (1817-1897), famous for his depictions of historical scenes. As well as Shakespeare, he illustrated works of Sir Walter Scott, Cervantes, Wilkie Collins and Wordsworth.
Designed to appeal to the book lover, the Macmillan Collector’s Library is a series of beautifully bound pocket-sized gift editions of much loved classic titles. Bound in real cloth, printed on high quality paper, and featuring ribbon markers and gilt edges, Macmillan Collector’s Library are books to love and treasure.