HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics. 'The quality of mercy is t strain'd,It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven'Bassia, a ble Venetian, hopes to woo the beautiful heiress Portia. However, he requires financial assistance from his friend Antonio. Antonio agrees, but he, in turn, must borrow from the Jewish moneylender Shylock. As recourse for past ills, Shylock stipulates that the forfeit on the loan must be a pound of Antonio's flesh. In the most rewned onstage law scene of all time, Portia proves herself one of Shakespeare's most cunning heroines, disguising herself as a lawyer and vanquishing Shylock's claims; meanwhile, Shylock triumphs on a humanitarian level with his plea for tolerance: `Hath t a Jew eyes?'Viewed paradoxically as anti-Semitic, while at the same time powerfully liberal for its time, The Merchant of Venice is at its core a bittersweet drama, exploring the ble themes of prejudice, justice and hour.
William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest playwright the world has seen. He produced an astonishing amount of work; 37 plays, 154 sonnets, and 5 poems. He died on 23rd April 1616, aged 52, and was buried in the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford.