The Merchant of Venice is the story of a Jewish moneylender who demands that an antisemitic Christian offer “a pound of flesh” as collateral against a loan. First performed in 1598, Shakespeare’s study of religious difference remains controversial. Read a character analysis of Shylock, plot summary and important quotes.


See a complete list of the characters in The Merchant of Venice and in-depth analyses of Shylock, Portia, Antonio, Jessica, Bassanio, and more.

Literary Devices

Here's where you'll find analysis of the literary devices in The Merchant of Venice, from the major themes to motifs, symbols, and more.


Find the quotes you need to support your essay, or refresh your memory of The Merchant of Venice by reading these key quotes.


Get ready to ace your The Merchant of Venice paper with our suggested essay topics, helpful essays about historical and literary context, a sample A+ student essay, and more.

Further Study

Go further in your study of The Merchant of Venice with background information, movie adaptations, and links to the best resources around the web.