'I will not hear thee speak; I’ll have my bond.'
In some of his most highly-charged scenes, Shakespeare dramatises the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, religious law and civil society, justice and mercy; while in the character of Shylock he created one of the most memorable outsiders in all theatre.
Portia, a wealthy heiress of Belmont, is forced to set her suitors a challenge. The winner will win her hand in marriage; the losers will lose her hand and much more. In Venice, the epicentre of consumption, speculation and debt, Bassanio borrows money from his friend Antonio to finance his attempt. Antonio, in turn, takes out a loan from the moneylender Shylock. The loan will be repaid when Antonio’s ships return to the city. But if the ships fail to return, and the money cannot be repaid, Antonio will give to Shylock a pound of his own flesh. And they do fail. And Shylock will have his ‘bond’.
Running time: 154 mins
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What you have to say
@The_Globe's production of Merchant of Venice was so good yesterday, I have a major play hangover
Carol Fry @CVFry
Hannah Dawson @DrHannahDawson
Superlative Merchant of Venice @The_Globe; never seen the antisemitism vs. Shylock nor the horror of forced conversion so brutally presented
Merchant of Venice at @The_Globe tonight was immense; wonderfully comical and so moving.. Such a brilliant production.
Nicci French @FrenchNicci
Just saw Jonathan Pryce majestic in Merchant of Venice at @The_Globe - superb - a comedy with an unforgettably harrowing ending. Fabulous.
Derek Marshall @derekmarshall43
@The_Globe The Merchant of Venice on Thursday. Fast-paced, lively staging, Shakespeare's words loud and clear. Very enjoyable production.
Daniel Hannan @DanielJHannan
My God what a powerful Merchant of Venice @The_Globe. It's a cold, grey, loveless play, but this production left me with tears in my eyes.
Sigrid B @starduster360
Wow. Just. Wow. #GlobeOnScreen's Merchant of Venice was exceptional. The tension palpable, costuming stunning, & performances extraordinary!