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About the Author: William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. Scholars believe that he died on his fifty-second birthday, coinciding with St George’s Day.

At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's.

Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

According to historians, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 sonnets throughout the span of his life. Shakespeare's writing average was 1.5 plays a year since he first started writing in 1589. There have been plays and sonnets attributed to Shakespeare that were not authentically written by the great master of language and literature.

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Mass Market Paperback, Published in Oct 2008 by Le Livre de Poche

ISBN10: 2253082570 | ISBN13: 9782253082576

Page count: 192

Antonio, un riche armateur de Venise, décide d’emprunter trois mille ducats à l’usurier juif Shylock afin d’aider son ami Bassanio à gagner Belmont où il espère faire la conquête de la belle et riche Portia. Comme les autres prétendants, il doit se soumettre à l’épreuve que le père disparu de la jeune femme a imaginée, et choisir entre trois coffrets, d’or, d’argent, et de plomb. Mais, au moment où il l’emporte sur ses rivaux, il apprend qu’Antonio vient d’être jeté en prison pour n’avoir pu rembourser sa dette à Shylock qui exige qu’en vertu du contrat une livre de chair soit prélevée sur le corps de son débiteur.
Publié en octobre 1600, Le Marchand de Venise entrecroise deux intrigues dont l’une met en scène, à Venise, le monde de l’argent et de la justice, tandis que l’autre, à Belmont, fait place à la musique et l’amour: une double comédie qui ne se referme pas sur une fin heureuse, mais laisse à leur mystère les figures complexes du juif cruel, et cependant humain, et des chrétiens qui ont su en faire leur victime.

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