Shylock, the Roman: Honor and Irony in The Merchant of Venice

Shylock, the Roman explains Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice in light of the Renaissance ethos of ancient Roman honor and the tradition of ancient Rome’s festive comedy. This close reading of The Merchant of Venice illuminates Shakespearean comedy generally and provides a basis for understanding the logic of Shakespeare's artistry as a dramatist.

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  • Category: Essay » Literature
  • Words: 59,100
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781476180281
About Robert Schneider

Robert Schneider holds a B.A. degree from The Johns Hopkins University (1974), where he studied history and literature. His approach to literary criticism was inspired by Professor Harold Jantz's close reading of Goethe's Faust, Professor Hugh Kenner's discussion of Joyce's Ulysses, and Professor Richard Macksey's lectures on comic theory and practice. He holds an M.A. degree in Modern European History from Columbia University (1975), where he studied cultural history under Professor Jacques Barzun.

The first edition of Shylock, the Roman was published in 1999 with the subtitle "Unmasking Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice." This edition is still available in a soft cover edition from The second edition, prepared for electronic publication, has been substantially reorganized and revised. It is shorter than the first edition by several thousand words, and has a different subtitle, "Honor and Irony in The Merchant of Venice." These changes render the previous edition obsolete, though all of the original edition's major points remain as they were. The second edition was completed in 2013, and is available only as an e-book. More information about the book is available on the Facebook page, "Shylock, the Roman,"

Since the publication of the first edition of Shylock, the Roman in 1999, Schneider has worked on "Broken matches and bits of glass," an experiment in micro-history and multiple/simultaneous biography. This work in progress explores the year 1922 as a cross-section of the life and work of a wide-range of intellectual and artistic innovators in literature, painting, music, philosophy, film, and other fields.

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