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The Merchant of Venice is an intriguing drama of love, greed and revenge. At its heart, the play contrasts the characters of the maddened and vengeful Shylock, a Venetian moneylender, with the gracious, level-headed Portia, a wealthy young woman besieged by suitors. At the play's climax, Shylock insists that a binding contract be enforced which will cost the life of the merchant Antonio. Pleading Antonio's case before the Duke of Venice, Portia shrewdly defeats Shylock's evil purpose. Also presents the original text of Shakespeare's play side by side with a modern version, discusses the author and the theater of his time, and provides quizzes and other study activities.