The Stratford treatment of Shakespeare plays in this series of books makes a distinguished contribution to drama literature. As well as the complete text, there is an introduction by the director of each plays in which he discusses his interpretation and staging of the production. The Stratford Festival Emendations indicate the changes that were made, enabling the reader and the play-goer to compare the original play with the Stratford staged version.
In his Introduction, director Mark Lamos examines the central themes in "The Merchant of Venice", pointing out the links between the play and Shrovetide, a religious holiday very important in Renaissance England. He discusses Shakespeare's humanistic and ironic approach to all of the characters; as a result, he says, "we view them not with a jaundiced eye but with astonishment." The "immutable behavior" of Shylock and "the breach between Christian precept and practice" remind us of our fallibility; clearly, "The Merchant of Venice" remains add significant and disturbing today as it was in Shakespeare's time.
Colour and black-and-white photographs highlight the action of the play, and five of Christina Poddubiuk's handsome costume sketches in full colour depict the fashions of the eighteenth century, the period in which the 1984 Festival production was set.
Notes from the back cover.
eBook The Merchant of Venice