The Merchant of Venice is a tragic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and is best known for Shylock and the famous 'Hath not a Jew eyes' speech.
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. With the extreame crueltie of Shylock the Iewe towards the ?ayd Merchant, in cutting a iu?t pound of his fle?h: and the obtayning of Portia by the choy?e of three che?ts.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster