The Merchant of Venice - Research Article from Literature and Its Times

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 16 pages of information about The Merchant of Venice.
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by William Shakespeare

Alifelong resident of England, William Shakespeare may have visited Venice, Italy, on tour with his acting company. Certainly many of his well-to-do countrymen made the trip, for shipping was a major business in both lands, and Venice served as a main port of trade between Asia and Europe. Whether or not Shakespeare knew any Jews is also unclear, since Jews had been expelled from England three hundred years earlier. But he was undoubtedly familiar with a 1590s scandal that involved a Jew, as well as the contents of at least one other popular play of the decade that featured a Jewish character.

Events in History at the Time the Play Takes Place

The city of Venice. In the 1300s to 1500s the region that is present-day Italy consisted of separate territories ruled by various governmental bodies, including single-ruler states, the Papal States (a...

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This section contains 4,636 words
(approx. 16 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Merchant of Venice Encyclopedia Article
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Literature and Its Times
The Merchant of Venice from Literature and Its Times. ©2008 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.