The Merchant of Venice | Critical Essay by M. M. Mahood

This literature criticism consists of approximately 44 pages of analysis & critique of The Merchant of Venice.
This section contains 13,053 words
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SOURCE: Mahood, M. M., ed. Introduction to The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, pp. 1-53. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

In the following excerpt, Mahood examines the date and sources of The Merchant of Venice and the critical assumptions governing the play's reception.

Date and Source

The magnificent sailing ships of the sixteenth century are an unseen presence throughout The Merchant of Venice. ‘Argosies with portly sail’ dominate the opening dialogue, and in the last scene our sense of an ending is satisfied by the news that three of Antonio's ships ‘are richly come to harbour’. So it is highly fitting that the clearest indication within the play of the date at which it was written should be an allusion to a real ship of the period.

In June 1596 an English expedition under the Earl of Essex made a surprise...

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This section contains 13,053 words
(approx. 44 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by M. M. Mahood
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Critical Essay by M. M. Mahood from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.