Read & Co. Classics presents this new beautiful edition of William Shakespeare’s play, “The Merchant of Venice”. Featuring a specially commissioned new biography of William Shakespeare. Antonio, a merchant in sixteenth century Venice tries to assist his kinsman, Bassanio in his pursuit of winning the affections of Portia, a desirable heiress. To do so, he secures a loan from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, but at a high cost should he fail to repay. After Antonio’s ships are announced lost at sea, he is forced to default and must pay the price at trial in the Duke’s Court. The play explores themes of intolerance and injustice and is known for its dramatic speeches. William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) was an English playwright, poet, and actor. He is considered to be the greatest writer in the English language and is celebrated as the world’s most famous dramatist.