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TOPIC: The Arden "Merchant"

The Arden "Merchant" 8 years 7 months ago #1715

  • paulrobertwagner
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Two weeks ago I saw a terrific performance of The Merchant of Venice by our local Shakespeare troupe, The Hudson River Shakespeare Company. Since then, I've been looking for more commentary on the play than my collected works of Shakespeare (Pelican, 2002) provides, and was thinking about picking up the latest Arden edition of the play. Unfortunately, it looks like the Third Series of this volume hasn't come out yet. What is the opinion of the 1955 Arden by John Russell Brown?
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The Arden "Merchant" 8 years 7 months ago #1718

  • akfarrar
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Dated.
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The Arden "Merchant" 8 years 7 months ago #1719

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What would be the best alternative commentary?
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The Arden "Merchant" 8 years 7 months ago #1720

  • William Shakespeare
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You might try the New Folger or the Riverside.
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The Arden "Merchant" 8 years 7 months ago #1722

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What of the 1998 Oxford volume edited by Jay L. Halio?
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The Arden "Merchant" 8 years 7 months ago #1723

  • William Shakespeare
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I can't recall that one, but the Bevington edition also has a pretty thorough commentary on MoV.
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The Arden "Merchant" 8 years 4 months ago #2092

  • Ian Farthing
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A great resource is Shylock by John Gross, a British theatre critic. Of course, it's mainly focused on the one character, but there are lots of useful sidelines which help with the play.
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The Arden "Merchant" 8 years 4 months ago #2094

  • Joe M.
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What is the opinion of the 1955 Arden by John Russell Brown?
akfarrar Dated.

So is History

Even though it might not be the latest 'popular' opinion, JR Brown's work is worth a look; if for nothing else but purposes of comparison.
He writes well, he's really quite thorough, and his willingness to re-think says a lot about him.
Of interest further--he updated his own work and thought in a chapter called Creating a Role: Shylock, in "Shakespeare's Plays in Performance", 1993, to take in performances by Anthony Sher and Dustin Hoffman.
I like him because he gives first consideration to the importance of Shakespeare's words and how they were written for the purposes of acting them. In his own words regarding his appendices: "...argues that a concern for the practicalities of the theatre must modify both the methods and intentions of literary critics." -and-"... contrasts an actors exploration of Shakespeare's text with the work of critics and semioticians;it also shows what can be learnt from attendance at performances and from the study of theatre history."
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