Genesis of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice

Author: Spencer, Christopher
Traces the development of the flesh-bond story, offers a thorough treatment of the characters' names, discusses the contemporary background for Jews and usurers, and surveys the history of the interpretation of Shylock.


"a very useful book" - Arthur Kirsch, Studies in English Literature

"In this thorough study of the components that became Shakespeare's play, Spencer discusses sources, plot elements, character types and the attitudes toward them, stage history, and criticism. . . . offer[s] a performance-oriented corrective to one-sided presentations of [Shylock]. The notes and selected bibliography offer an extensive survey of both older and recent criticism for the use of advanced students and scholars." - Choice

". . . a well-constructed and reliable study . . ." - Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance