Overview

Editions[i] abound of Shakespeare's plays. Admittedly, there is not an overwhelming choice of editions of King John[ii], but for the more popular plays there is a good choice. Fortunately, they differ far more than just in the choice of cover (which as we shall see range from a simple collection of coins, through a self-portrait of Titian to a tinted image of Irving as Shylock). To account for this difference it follows that the publishers are targeting different audiences. For my main focus I shall be looking in detail in two editions of 'The Merchant Of Venice' both published on Cambridge University Press. To put these two editions into context I shall also briefly consider ten other editions of the play that I have in my collection, including two on-line ones. This will illustrate the range of possibilities available to a publisher when considering an edition. It will establish a wider framework in which to consider the similarities and differences between the two chosen editions from a single publisher.

 

The Raw Material

The quarto (Q1) of 1600, the quarto (Q2) of 1619 (previously thought to be the first Quarto as it contains the (deceptive) imprint "Printed by J Roberts 1600" (Arden, xviii). Research by Professor A. W. Pollard and others has shown that it was in fact printed by William Jaggard for Thomas Pavier. The third source for the work is the Folio printing of 1623.

 

Summary of twelve editions


The Arden Shakespeare
- Edited by John Russell Brown

Arden 3, of course, follows the pattern of the series. It is focussed on the play's sources (F, Q1, Q2) and inspiration. It very much draws on the body of academic research, mentions the work of previous editors and seeks to justify the decisions made in making this edition. Classical references are expounded. There is a high density of notes.  For instance, between the Dramatis Personae and the start of the text there is a page of dense two columned notes on the source of the names Shylock, Tubal and Jessica as well as, something found in most editions, a note about early editors thinking "Q2 was the first edition … listed three characters Salanio, Salarino, and Salerio".  (Arden, p2). Act 2 Scene 6 line 5 'O ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly'. Whereas most editions mention the doves (pigeons) that drew Venus' chariot, the Arden also mentions another interpretation - that the "pigeons are lovers, who were often called 'turtles' or 'doves'". The play can, however, be adequately understood without either of these references. These explanations embellish our appreciation of a play but slow down the first time reader considerably. Fortunately, similar classical references occur throughout the canon so extending our vocabulary to the classics is less arduous the more plays we study.

 

The Alexander Shakespeare- Edited by M Etherington and R B Kennedy. 1984. Reprinted 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993.

Slightly unusually this edition boldly or foolishly tells us why Shakespeare has done certain things[iii]. For instance, in the Leah scene (Act 3 Scene 1) where Tubal tells Shylock that 'Your daughter in Genoa, as I heard, one night, four score ducats.' Shylock reacts with 'Thou stick'st a dagger in me - I shall never see my gold again. Fourscore ducats at a sitting! Fourscore ducats!'. This is here, the Alexander tells us, "This is intended to show Shylock's comic miserliness, in contrast with his delight in Antonio's misfortune." This seems to be presenting a view as an incontrovertible truth. If Peter Holland's[iv] estimate is correct the modern day equivalent of eight ducats is about £800. Almost any father would be shocked by such a large sum. Many readers would see this more sympathetically; that Shylock is not so concerned about the money; he is expressing his sadness at the loss of his daughter. 'Comic miserliness' seems to go back to the days of playing Shylock for laughs in a red wig. Post holocaust we have a natural sympathy for Shylock that a modern production can choose to underline or fight against. Compare this edition's note with the recent National Theatre production; a sympathetic view of the Shylock-Jessica relationship.

 

Shakespeare Made Easy - Modernised by Alan Durband

This edition is unique amongst those described here in that on the left hand page we have Shakespeare's text, and on the right hand we have a modern day translation. Durband does not take it upon himself to try to write poetically so we lose so very much. Durband does not just present the meaning of the occasional difficult word but the whole text has been rewritten for the present. So where Shakespeare has: 'The quality of mercy is not strained' (Act 4 Scene 1, line 181) Durband has "By nature, mercy is never subject to compulsion". The back cover comes with endorsements from Dame Judi Dench 'What a good idea'. and Julie Walters 'I wish I'd had one when I did my O-levels' [v] Although it is easy to be negative about an edition like this, I think this is largely due to my familiarity with the play. I've seen various versions on screen and stage and have a number of audio versions; so there is a tendency for this approach to Shakespeare to appear oversimplified. However, to someone new to the play it could prove invaluable. An edition in this form a few months ago for Titus Andronicus would have probably been very useful to me.

 

The Oxford Shakespeare - Edited by Jay L Halio

Slightly strangely, the cover of this edition is adorned by a colour print of a detail of 'Self-portrait' by Titian. Presumably chosen because of a possible resemblance to Shylock - it is of an elderly bearded man wearing a prayer hat. This seems slightly cheeky; it would have been more acceptable if it had been a portrait of an unknown person. Titian would surely take legal action if he were still alive! Unfortunately, to my mind, he just does not look like a valid Shylock; perhaps a plausible Tubal.[vi] This edition contains many fine illustrations including a drawing of Henry Irving as Shylock (different to that in the New Cambridge). The format is similar to the New Cambridge with quite so detailed notes in small font as footnotes. The text is preceded by notes on Venice and the history of the play including recent performances (Stewart, Olivier, Hoffman, Sher and Suchet).

 

The Everyman Shakespeare - Edited by John F. Andrews

The cover of this edition shows a number of coins laid out. Perhaps a suggestion that everything in the Merchant of Venice has a price[vii]. From the pound of flesh that Shylock wants to take from Antonio to the money spent by Jessica and Lorenzo on a single night on the town. Like the Longman, this edition has notes on the left hand side and text on the right hand. The notes are more detailed than the Longman, but less so than the Arden. It contains less than average notes about the play and its themes but does include chronologies of Shakespeare's life and times. The latter including both literary and historical events.

 

 

Longman Literature Shakespeare - Edited by Laura Hutchings

This edition lies somewhere midway between the barrenness of the 'New Penguin' and the literary depths of the Arden. The structure of this edition is as follows:

 

            Introduction (which consists of)

                                Shakespeare's Life and Times

                                                { mentions Francis Drake, plague, WS dying wealthy,

                                Shakespeare's Language

                The Merchant of Venice

{ each of the 5 acts is preceded by a one page summary of what   happens.

On the left hand page there are fairly basic but adequate explanations of words and phrases with the text of the play on the right hand page. This lacks the scholarly depth of the Arden, but is sufficient to understand the play itself but the sources of the words, etc.  }

 

                Study programme

                                Before reading the play

                                During reading

                                After reading

                                Study questions

                                Using part of the text

 

The Macmillan Shakespeare - Edited by Christopher Parry

This edition's front cover shows Eric Porter and Janet Suzman as Shylock and Jessica from the 1965 RSC production. There is quite a short introduction about the sources of the play and it's history. Notes, which are detailed but do not have the scholarly depth of the Arden, and text are laid out on opposite sides of the page.

 

The New Cambridge Shakespeare - Edited by M. M. Mahood

This edition is one of the two discussed in detail below. Essentially this is not as scholarly as the Arden. Interestingly, it includes line drawings of the Shylock's of Charles Mackin, Edmund Kean and Henry Irving (there is a tinted print of this on the cover of the Cambridge School edition; see the title page of this essay) and a black and white print of Patrick Stewart as Shylock from 1978. I found the notes in this edition detailed while still interesting. Whereas, the Arden seems at times almost to border on incest in it's references to and accounts of how the text in hand has been pieced together.

 

The New Penguin Shakespeare - Edited by W. Moelwyn Merchant

This edition goes against the style of most editions surveyed here as it presents the text 'raw' as it were in a section by itself. This is in contradistinction to the norm which presents either text with, usually verbose, footnotes or with text on one side and notes on the opposite. There are at least two views one can take on this. Firstly, one may decide that the reader is already familiar with Shakespeare generally and in particular the play at hand (the edition's back cover states that it is "used and recommended by the RSC[viii]") and so does not need constant explanations of, for instance, the changing meaning of success or what usary is. This edition also avoids putting a gloss on the play[ix] and stops the reader being slowed down by constant referral to dense notes in order to extract every nuance of the play - including all the classical references and speculation on what the typical Elizabethan theatre-goer would be expected to know about world history. By leaving the notes out of the main text it makes it appear less cluttered[x] and perhaps less elitist and therefore presumably less disconcerting to many potential readers. It must be off-putting to new readers of Shakespeare to have a side of dialogue followed immediately by another side explaining it - for instance, dragging out the classical references in gory detail to an audience that won't necessary have the classical education to relate to. The disadvantage of this is that it is somewhat impractical to pick up the commentary if you feel you need it - which I do and surely most readers will also benefit from. The second view is that by having the footnotes or side-notes streamed with the text of the play it is easy for the reader to refer to them if they wish. Having just the raw text in the main body of the edition becomes liability when, for instance, there is a piece that defies immediate interpretation. For instance the famous crux in Hamlet - "I am but mad north, north west; when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw"[xi]. At this point leaving the reader on their own can make the edition look a bit like a Readers Digest version[xii].  This version is structured as follows:

 

            Introduction

                Further Reading

                Text of the Play

                Commentary

                An Account Of The Text

 

The commentary is not very detailed. It is a mixture of word explanations, derivations of the names Shylock and Tubal,  phrases (such as 'upon the hip') and dipping into critical commentary of the past. For instance in the section on the "I am a Jew" speech it mentions Hazlitt commenting on Edmund Kean's rendition of these lines "worth a wilderness of monkeys that have aped humanity". It lacks any commentary on Leah. This seems a significant omission as this one reference tells us much about the character of Shylock. The introduction is interesting indeed, referencing Medea's father Colchis and his setting up of a triple test of Jason's[xiii] wit and comparing this to Portia's father. The account of the text is five pages long but gives sufficient information for the non-research student to see how in general terms the play has reached us from its various sources.

 

Cambridge School Shakespeare - Edited by Jonathan Morris and Robert Smith.

This is one of the two editions that will be considered in greater detail below. The front cover of this edition has a tinted print of Henry Irving as Shylock. This edition is different to the others discussed here as it is more of a guide for a Merchant of Venice workshop than the expected format of notes and text. Notes are provided: a minimum of words are simply explained, but each page is concisely summarised and students are invited in groups of varying size to explore the plays in many different ways.

 

Gutenberg online plain text edition

This can only barely be considered an edition as there is a complete absence of notes and commentary. It is one of many classic texts available freely (apart from ISP/phone charges!) from the massive Gutenberg project. It is excellent for searching, but has no merit as an aid to study.

 

MIT online HTML edition

The internet is in its infancy. This is a fairly bare edition and is only a little better than the Gutenberg. It has a choice of the play as a single HTML page, or as one scene per page. Difficult words are linked to explanations but this is a rather hit and miss affair. This cross-referencing has presumably been produced by an automatic process as sometimes words are linked to inappropriate meanings. Sometimes words are linked to explanations of different words. It lacks history of performance, illustrations, background and history of the play, analysis of characters, etc. So far then, this is a missed opportunity. The situation will improve! Certain plays (for instance Hamlet and King Lear) have been produced in CD-ROM format with a searchable version of the text, background of the play and characters and interviews with Professor Stanley Wells and Dr Russell Jackson. Similarly there is a version of Romeo and Juliet with video clips. So far the on-line versions are the worst available - their only advantages being their availability and ease of searching. Eventually they will be better than the text versions. Already it is possible to produce a device that will easily fit into a shirt pocket that can hold the entire Shakespeare Canon in a searchable form.

 

Two editions compared in detail

I have chosen to look in detail at the two following editions, both published on Cambridge University Press, because they are so different. That is not to say that one is good and the other awful; they are both very good but are aimed at different types of readers[xiv].

 

1)                  Cambridge School Shakespeare edited by Jonathan Morris and Robert Smith - commentary and notes © 1992. (Reprinted 1992 through 1997.) This will be referred to as the 'School' below.

2)                  The New Cambridge Shakespeare edited by M. M. Mahood © 1987. (Reprinted 1989, 1992, 1993, 1996.). This will be referred to as the 'New' below.

 

I bought both of these editions (new) in January 1999 and judging from the printing dates, the publisher has considered them both to be current editions from 1992. Note that the Cambridge School Shakespeare also uses Mahood's version of the text. So they use the same choices from the three sources; despite this I consider these two editions to be appropriate for comparison as their use of the raw material is so very different.

 

The New Cambridge Shakespeare Edition

This edition is structured as follows:

List of illustrations (of which there are many including Sculpture and famous Shylocks)

Preface

Abbreviations and conventions

Introduction

                Date and source

                Some attitudes and assumptions behind the play

                Experiencing the play

                The afterlife of The Merchant Of Venice

Notes on the text

List of characters

The Play

Supplementary note

Textual analysis

Appendix: Shakespeare's use of the Bible in The Merchant Of Venice

Reading List

 

Like many editions this one is very mindful of the history of the play and awareness of the play as a thing created a long time ago that there has been much scholarly activity over. It is a long time before we reach the play itself. (Compare this with the 'School' below. There are notes on Jews and usurers, staging, money, love, famous performances, the play's structure, the Law, kinds of comedy an dthe play's date and source. The cast list is very similar to that given in Q3 (as indicated on p56). Compare this with the grouping given in the 'School'.  Although the 'New' is a very good scholarly edition with a wide range of relevant notes and fine illustrations there is nothing radical about it.

 

The Cambridge School Edition.

This edition is structured as follows:

 

Cambridge School Shakespeare (a one side overview of the edition)

List Of Characters

The Merchant of Venice (i.e. the text of the play)

Looking back at the play

Telling the story

Shylock: villain or victim?

Women in Venice and Belmont

Tensions and oppositions in The Merchant Of Venice

The Language Of The Merchant Of Venice

The Play In Performance

Staging the play

William Shakespeare

 

To start with the end, it seems rather strange to have the playwright last - this completely undefinable, timeless widely acclaimed genius generally considered to be the greatest playwright in the English language appears to be almost a footnote. But it has been the tendency since the 18th Century for the stature of the playwright to suffer in relation to the principal actors[xv]. I think that this is a very deliberate choice. They are trying to avoid monumentalising Shakespeare; they simply do not want to put the young off him. Their approach seems to be that this play is about people as they are today and so it is relevant that we study and think about it. Then having done that 'by the way this play was written by somebody called Shakespeare who lived four centuries ago'. I think that this is a very wise decision in view of their main target market: schools.

 

The focus with this edition is to get right into the play we just have the bare minimum to start us off - the list of characters. Interestingly, this is broken down as follows:

                                Venice

                                Christians

                                                The Duke, Bassanio, Antonio, etc

                                Jews

                                                Shylock, Jessica, Tubal

 

                                Belmont

                                Portia's household

                                                Portia

                                                Nerissa, etc

 

                                Portia's suitors

                                                The Prince Of Morocco

                                                The Prince Of Arragon

 

So immediately we are given an impression that religion, or perhaps more accurately race (or tribe) is going to be at the centre of debate[xvi] in this play. Portia in Belmont seems a world away. The 'School' edition has the text of the play on the right hand pages, with the left reserved for guidance. The 'New' edition has the text printed in the upper part of both left and right sides of the page but with variable size footnotes in two columns. At one extreme the footnotes might only be eight lines as with Act 4 Scene 1 lines 329 Gratiano: 'A Second Daniel' through Portia's 'Tarry, Jew: The Law hath yet another hold on you' to line 357. At the other extreme for Shylock's 'I have possessed your grace of what I purpose' at Act 4 Scene 1 line 35, there are 32 lines of two columns of notes in a small font. Notes therefore outweigh text word for word by three or four to one.

 

Like many editions there are explanations of difficult or more or less obsolete words. But whereas many editions including  the 'New' Shakespeare have quite detailed explanations of words (presented as large footnotes in the 'New'), the 'School' version just has the minimum explanation. The guidance on the left hand side of the page breaks into three sections. At the top of the page in italics is a two or three line summary of  the key part of the right hand page. The second section is a series of exercises that the one page introduction page invites the class to do as many or as few with more or less pupils than that suggested. This seems a wonderful way to teach a play; to encourage the students to think about the play and discover the play for themselves. ("By choosing your activities, and by exploring and experimenting, you can make your own interpretations of Shakespeare's language, characters and stories. Whatever you do, remember that Shakespeare wrote his plays to be acted, watched and enjoyed". This is a noble intention as well but is perhaps suggesting that Shakespeare went on record as stating this; whereas it is only what we presume; he certainly seems to have seen performance as publication - that the characters come alive before us on a stage.) It does seem to adhere to its intention stated on the introduction page to not to give right and wrong things views "you are encouraged to make up your own mind ".

The first word explained in each is for the second word that Antonio speaks 'sooth'. 'School' just has 'truth' but 'New' has 'Truly'. We are to suppose Antonio is replying to a question that has just been put to him". But the 'School' conveys the same information in one of its questions. The summary for the first 22 lines of the play is as follows:

"Antonio says he does not know what causes his sadness. Salarino and Solanio suggest that he is worried about the safety of his ships, in which he has invested so much money"

These summaries are useful as it is easy especially during an early reading of a Shakespearean play to become lost in the language and lose the main line of the plot.

 

The second section of the 'School' has three exercises. The first 'Where are they' invites pupils to try to locate the scene - as Shakespeare neglected to so do. It suggests a variety of possible answers from house, office through to the Stock Exchange (this edition predates David Thacker's interesting modern day Stock Exchange production of the mid 90s.) But rather than simply giving the pupils an easy answer it asks them to give reasons for their choice. The next exercise is 'Before the play begins' which pickings on the fact that the play begins in mid conversation. Significantly it does not mention Shakespeare's use of the device of continued conversation in Hamlet Act 5:

 

Scene 2. A Hall in the Castle.

 

Enter HAMLET and HORATIO.

 

Hamlet            So much for this, sir; now shall you see the other.

                        You do remember all the circumstance?

 

This is typical of the 'School'; it doesn't ask the student to consider this play in relation to any others (by Shakespeare or otherwise).  The edition has been written particularly for students who quite possibly have not experienced a Shakespeare play before at all and most likely have not studied one in detail before. The 'New' is more mindful of academia and the more mature student. For instance in it's note to Act 1 Scene 1 lines 47-48 Sad because you are merry -  "a catchphrase to brush off enquiries, as in TGV 4.2.28-29" It doesn't quote the lines from The Two Gentlemen Of Verona ("Marry, mine host, because I cannot be merry") perhaps we're supposed to know them J! Seriously, this is a major difference between the two editions. The thrust of the 'New' is to unfold classical references, refer to many other works about Shakespeare's plays and cross-reference the plays themselves. Whereas, the thrust of the 'School' is to roll up shirt and blouse sleeves and discover the play for oneself in a classroom or drama studio. There is no right or wrong about this; but certainly the most fun method for a class of students is surely that of the 'School' to learn about the play by discovering it through reading, listening and thinking about the text of the play. Students would only be intimidated if they felt that they had to assimilate a vast body of criticism and other plays; it would pose a massive hurdle to understanding the play. Since Shakespeare wrote about people and they (sadly!) have not changed very much in the last four centuries the body of work produced by academia over the last two centuries is not a pre-requisite for understanding  This is not to say that there is no place for academia; it's just that it does not seem appropriate to weigh down a Shakespeare beginner with it.

 

This approach of inviting the young to discover a Shakespeare play in their own terms is not unique. At a meeting of the Friends of the RSC in Stratford a few years ago we were told about a school's trip from Liverpool to see a production of The Merchant of Venice. As part of their day with the RST the pupils were asked to consider Shylock's  Hath not a Jew eyes speech in terms of their own problems. The result of this was that they came out with things like Hath not a black boy eyes. They thoroughly enjoyed the production after this. This is not surprising as Shakespeare wrote about how people are and prejudice is such a deeply rooted trait we still see many forms of it today.

 

Interestingly, neither edition mentions Antonio's possible previous homosexual relationship[xvii] or at least desire for Bassanio as a likely reason for his depression: i.e. he is imminently going to lose him to a wife which will forever change their relationship.

 

A good example of something for the class to think about in the 'School' is Jonathan Miller (a Jew) asking Olivier who was playing Shylock if he had seen a newsreel of Hitler spontaneously dancing a jig at news of the surrender of France.

 

In addition to these things to think about on every page in the 'School', there is a look back at the end of each act with a series of broader questions; sometimes relating to a particular production. For instance, at the end of Act 4, we are told that Dustin Hoffman would like to ask Shakespeare for more lines for Shylock half-way through the trial scene. The exercise is to write that speech and choose where best to place it! Not a two minute exercise but something to think about! The first question here is 'A fair trial'! Another exercise is to arrange the characters in order of prejudice, and then in order according to how much you like them and compare the two lists! Excellent.

 

Conclusion with a personal voice

Clearly, there are many ways of focussing an edition. There is the notes at the back approach demonstrated by the New Penguin Shakespeare. Personally, I reject this format for my own uses since I really do need ready access to the notes. It would be more usable, of course, as would all the others if they were presented in HTML on the WWW but academia will probably take a hundred years to catch up with the technologyJ Alan Durband goes too far the other way in 'translating' Shakespeare into modern language. Shakespeare isn't that difficult to understand. We don't need to have all the words replaced with alternate words! However, I feel he is to be congratulated in an attempt to bring Shakespeare to the masses, albeit too much of an attempt! Shakespeare has benefited from people in the past adapting and cutting his work - perhaps most notably by Garrick. The Bard survives in this way, down the ages. A work like this may help popularise the works and bring more people into Shakespeare's theatre. However, if all it succeeds in doing is stopping people reading the original text, preferring the simplified version, then I feel it is an abortion.

Arden is a solid choice, particular for people interested in the genesis of the piece - it goes to pains to note differences in F., Q and Q2. The 'New' is another good scholarly choice and my recommend edition for the sole reader but, and I think it will come as no surprise to a reader of this essay, my out and out favourite is the 'School' which surprisingly does live up to its noble intentions (summarised above) of encouraging readers to discover the play for themselves by thinking about it. Clearly, this is best done in groups but it is also my personal choice for sole study. Shakespeare is often stated as seeing performance as publication and I think that the study of the text at moderate level is best afforded by encouraging people to explore it for themselves rather than wading through academia. They are right to leave Shakespeare until last.

 



[i]  For the purposes of this essay I consider edition as meaning an internet resource or a  printed volume that includes the text of the play as well as attempts at explanation - so three study guides that I also have on the play that consist of notes only shall not be considered here.

 

[ii] Nor an overwhelming market for them; perhaps to the annoyance of Dr R Smallwood J. (He has mentioned a couple of times, most recently to the Shakespeare Studies class of June 2000 that Romeo and Juliet is the most popular play.)

 

[iii] This is perhaps reminiscent of typically awful theatre critics. An example we came across in the Shakespeare Studies course during the Summer of 1999 was "Shakespeare wrote Antony and Cleopatra about". Unlike some 20th Century playwrights, Shakespeare did not leave behind a body of essays explaining his work, so even theatre critics (who typically do not know whether they are in Rome or Egypt, do not appreciate Yolanda Sonnabend's inventive stage decision, and appear to be paid by the cliché) can only guess what he was trying to achieve.

 

[iv] Professor Peter Holland gave a talk twice about the Merchant Of Venice (1998?). He changed his figures between the talks and finally settled on a scaling factor of about £10 to a ducat.

 

[v] Presumably she is talking about the book and not a frustrated sex life! I do not trust quotes from publishers as occasionally I know the source of a statement and the quote printed is in fact a sub-quote with one or more qualifying words removed. For instance, the early 20th Century writer of the macabre, HP Lovecraft died poor but eventually his work achieved a status on a par with that Edgar Allan Poe. His judgement counts for something now but tends to be cut by publishers to suit themselves.

 

[vi] An explanation of this would require another essay!

 

[vii] A theme of Professor Peter Holland's talk to the Merchant of Venice Study Day class (1998?) and also to the summer school.

 

[viii] This is a slightly dubious recommendation as although the RSC has very high standards, most readers are not going to put on a professional production. Rehearsals are variable with the RSC according to the particular director, but there is a tendency to spend two weeks looking at and understanding the text; actors saying each other's lines and giving meanings in their own words. Most readers, even those who are going to put on amateur productions, will benefit from more of a handhold than is given by the New Penguin.

 

[ix] The director at the RSC can be counted on to do that J.

 

[x] I seem to remember Steven Pimlott speaking to the Friends of the RSC in 1996, having directed David Troughton in Richard III; telling us that he typed up the plays of Shakespeare that he directed instead of using one of the available texts. To make it look as if it could have been written yesterday.

[xi] Someone with the e-mail address of Axis@dial.pipex.com has this as their signature - who says the internet is full of rubbish J?

 

[xii] By that I refer to the Readers Digest business of chopping down major works to easily digestible size. Presumably to make easier for the masses to read and for them to be able to say they've read.

 

[xiii] Jason of Golden Fleece fame.

 

[xiv] It would also be interesting to compare editions decades apart - perhaps Arden IV versus Arden I; an exercise for another time perhaps.

 

[xv] For instance Garrick and Barry were highly regarded in their own right when they played the male lead in rival productions of Rome and Juliet in the mid 18th Century.

 

[xvi] All Shakespeare is about debate. I cannot remember the source of this. I believe it to be a common sentiment. I seem to remember Richard Eyre saying it in one of his introductions to the current BBC series of Shakespeare plays that are being broadcast intermittently on Radio 3, but many people have also expressed the thought.

[xvii]  The part is often played this way; with the pair being more than just good friends.

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography for Compare Two Editions Of A Shakespeare Play Essay

 

Andrews, John F. The Everyman Shakespeare: The Merchant Of Venice (London, J M Dent, 1993) ISBN 0 460 87180 3.

 

Brown, John Russell The Arden Shakespeare 3: The Merchant Of Venice (London: Routledge, 1955) ISBN 0 415 02751 9.

 

Durband, Alan Shakespeare Made Easy: The Merchant Of Venice (Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes (Publishers) Ltd, 1990) - a reprint. First published 1984 by Hutchinson Education.

 

Etherington, M and R B Kennedy The Alexander Shakespeare: The Merchant Of Venice (London: Collins Educational, 1984) ISBN 0 00 325251 5.

 

Halio, Jay L. Oxford World's Classics: The Merchant Of Venice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993) ISBN 0-19-283424-X.

 

Hutchings, Laura Longman Literature Shakespeare: The Merchant Of Venice (Harlow: Longman Group UK Ltd, 1994 ) ISBN 0 582 24593 1.

 

Leech, Clifford The Arden Shakespeare 3: The Two Gentlemen Of Verona (London: Routledge, 1969) ISBN  0 415 02709 8.

 

Mahood M. M. The New Cambridge Shakespeare: The Merchant Of Venice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987) ISBN 0 521 29371 5.

 

Merchant, W Moelwyn The New Penguin Shakespeare: The Merchant Of Venice (London: Penguin, 1967) ISBN  0-14-070706-9.

 

Morris, Jonathan and Robert Smith Cambridge School Shakespeare: The Merchant Of Venice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992) { Note that these details refer to the commentary and notes. The text of the play is that of M M Mahood for The New Cambridge Shakespeare. } ISBN 0 521 43404 2.

 

Parry, Christopher The Macmillan Shakespeare: The Merchant Of Venice (London: Macmillan Education Ltd, 1976) SBN 333 17655 3

 

Concise Oxford Dictionary CD-ROM (Oxford: Oxford University Press,, Ninth Edition).

 

Encarta 2000 Multimedia Encyclopaedia (USA: Microsoft, 1999 – but updated monthly via the internet)

 

Encylopaedia Britannica 99 Multimedia Edition. (USA: Britannica, 1998)

 

Gutenberg, The Merchant Of Venice (USA: FTP, now) The Merchant Of Venice in plain text – from very large collection of out of copyright classics.

 

MIT The Merchant Of Venice (USA: WWW, now) Html version of Hamlet.