Today in 1915, The Merchant of Venice opened at the 44th Street Theatre. A tragic comedy by William Shakespeare, the play believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. The title character is the merchant Antonio, not the Jewish moneylender Shylock, who is the play's most prominent and most famous character. This is made explicit by the title page of the first quarto: The mo?t excellent Hi?torie of the Merchant of Venice. The play was recenlty brought to Broadway in 2010 after a successful run at Shakespeare in the Park with Al Pacino and Lily Rabe.