The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare. It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599.
It is a play in which a merchant in Venice named Antonio defaults on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock. The play is most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and it is best known for Shylock and his famous “Hath not a Jew eyes?” speech on humanity. Also notable is Portia’s speech about “the quality of mercy”.
The Merchant of Venice is one of the most famous plays of Shakespeare. The play is widely read and performed. The earliest performance of the play according to a record was held at the court of King James in the spring of 1605. The play has also been made into television series and movies.
About the author
William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”.
He is believed to have written some 39 plays,154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.