Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" is a richly complicated and disturbing work. Several themes are presented within the framework of a traditional comedy that calls for the triumph of young lovers over their unromantic elders. However, the play has also been at the center of controversy due to its depiction of the Jewish moneylender Shylock, which many people feel is anti-Semitic. This invaluable new study guide to one of Shakespeare's greatest plays contains a selection of the finest criticism through the centuries on "The Merchant of Venice". Students will also benefit from the additional features included in this volume, such as an introduction by Harold Bloom, an accessible summary, analysis of key passages, a comprehensive list of characters, a biography of Shakespeare, and more.