Edited introduced and annotated by Cedric Watts Professor of English Literature University of Sussex. The Wordsworth Classics’ Shakespeare Series presents a newly-edited sequence of William Shakespeare’s works. The textual editing takes account of recent scholarship while giving the material a careful reappraisal. The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies but it remains deeply controversial. The text may seem anti-Semitic yet repeatedly in performance it has revealed a contrasting nature. Shylock though vanquished in the law-court often triumphs in the theatre. In his intensity he can dominate the play challenging abrasively its romantic and lyrical affirmations. What results is a bitter-sweet drama. Though The Merchant of Venice offers some of the traditional pleasures of romantic comedy it also exposes the operations of prejudice. Thus Shakespeare remains our contemporary.