The “Merchant of Venice” Play by Shakespeare

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The play “Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare is a well-known play that often features in professional and amateur theatrical performances. The play is expansive, and reading through all of it often makes the overarching plot escape in the details. Summaries of the play are available for performers to understand what is going on, more clearly. The two summaries reviewed as part of this paper are provided by Shakespeare.org.uk and Vedantu.com.

The first summary is fairly expansive, covering all five acts. The intro at the beginning mentions the main characters but does not explicitly states who they are. The information about each act focuses on the main events, rather than on the feelings of characters (“The Merchant of Venice”). From this summary you can get the general understanding of the overarching plot, while the details are left for a more rigorous reading. Overall, the summary helps one as a reader more so than a performer. The way the information is provided is clear.

The second summary comes from Vedantu.com. This summary is published on a commercial platform, and appears to have been made not to provide assistance to students or performers, but rather to attract traffic. The text is not written clearly, and lacks any separate summaries of different acts, instead mashing information altogether. Some of the information present in the first summary is clearly missing. Sentences are full of SEO-optimization words, meant to attract search engines. The only useful bit of information is near the end, where the article gives a short summary to each character (“Merchant of Venice Summary”). Overall, I would pick the summary from Shakespeare.org.uk both as a reader and as a performer. That summary is aimed at expanding an individual’s knowledge and understanding, is structured better, and is more informative. The latter appears to be a SEO-text, which is unacceptable for the purposes of reading or performing.

Works Cited

Merchant of Venice Summary. Vedantu, 2022.

The Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare Org, 2022.