William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is a richly complicated and, to some, a deeply disturbing work. Several themes are presented within the framework of a traditional comedy that calls for the triumph of young lovers over their restrictive elders. Yet, the play, with its highly debated portrayal of the moneylender Shylock, resists easy categorization, incorporating elements of tragedy and romance in equal portion. This new edition of critical essays features an introduction by Shakespearean scholar Harold Bloom, a chronology of the Bard's life, a bibliography, and an index for quick reference.
Chronology. Bibliography. Index.
About the Author(s)
Harold Bloom is Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. Educated at Cornell and Yale universities, he is the author of 30 books, including Shelley's Mythmaking (1959), The Visionary Company (1961), Blake's Apocalypse (1963), Yeats (1970), A Map of Misreading (1975), Kabbalah and Criticism (1975), Agon: Toward a Theory of Revisionism (1982), The American Religion (1992), The Western Canon (1994), Omens of Millennium: The Gnosis of Angels, Dreams, and Resurrection (1996), and Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998), a 1998 National Book Award finalist. The Anxiety of Influence (1973) sets forth Professor Bloom's provocative theory of the literary relationships between the great writers and their predecessors. His most recent books include How to Read and Why (2000), Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds (2002), Hamlet: Poem Unlimited (2003), Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? (2004), and Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine (2005). In addition, he is the author of hundreds of articles, reviews, and editorial introductions. In 1999, Professor Bloom received the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Criticism. He has also received the International Prize of Catalonia, the Alfonso Reyes Prize of Mexico, and the Hans Christian Andersen Bicentennial Prize of Denmark.