The Merchant of Venice


Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(4.4 stars; 108 reviews)


William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice was probably written between 1596 and 1598, and was printed with the comedies in the First Folio of 1623. Bassanio, an impoverished gentleman, uses the credit of his friend, the merchant Antonio, to borrow money from a wealthy Jew, Shylock. Antonio pledges to pay Shylock a pound of flesh if he defaults on the loan, which Bassanio will use to woo a rich heiress, Portia. A subplot concerns the elopement of Shylock's daughter Jessica with a Christian, Bassanio's friend Lorenzo. In its focus on love and marriage, the play shares certain concerns with Shakespeare's other comedies. Yet its depiction of the tensions between Jews and Christians in early modern Venice - and its highly dramatic trial scene in Act 4 - create darker currents in the play. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett)

Cast:

Duke of Venice: Filippo Gioachin
Prince of Morocco: Mark F. Smith
Prince of Arragon: David Nicol
Antonio: David O'Connell
Bassanio: mb
Salanio: Rosalind Wills
Salarino: Laurie Anne Walden
Gratiano: David Leeson
Lorenzo: Aaron Elliott
Shylock: etk
Tubal: Carolyn Frances
Launcelot Gobbo: L. Lambert Lawson
Old Gobbo: David Lawrence
Leonardo: Laurie Anne Walden
Balthasar: David Lawrence
Stephano: Lucy Perry
Portia: Arielle Lipshaw
Nerissa: Megan Kunkel
Jessica: Elizabeth Klett
Clerk in court: Ernst Pattynama
Portia's servant: Joshua B. Christensen
Narrator: Dennis Sayers

(2 hr 26 min)

Chapters

Dramatis Personae 2:27 Read by Elizabeth Klett
Act I 25:40 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act II 36:50 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act III 38:35 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act IV 26:29 Read by LibriVox Volunteers
Act V 16:15 Read by LibriVox Volunteers

Reviews

Very helpful

(5 stars)

thank you very much for this book...I can now listen to the book while reading...it helps me concentrate and I remember more!!!

Nearly perfect

(4.5 stars)

Full Review at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1795673092 I am seriously impressed with the quality of this recording. Nearly all of the readers really got into the roles. Shylock's speech in 3.1 was awesome. Actually, all of Shylock's performances were well done. How can anyone not like Portia? She's clever, sarcastic, generous and loyal. Ms. Lipshaw does justice to the character. I was particularly impressed by the song in 3.2, I'm not sure who did the singing but kudos to you. Only 3.5 was completely disappointing. It's supposed to be a light humorous exchange between Jessica, Launcelot the clown, and Lorenzo but most of them just read off the lines mechanically. All the teasing tone is gone. 5.1 was another problem. Aaron Eliot reads Lorenzo and does a technically good job but doesn't seem to connect to the text in any way. It is an uncomfortable conflict to Jessica (read extremely well by Ms Klett) in the same scene. Lorenzo's lines that should be funny are read just like lines that are romantic.

(5 stars)

very nice audio book love hearing it

Just ok...

(2.5 stars)

Some of the actors spoke too slowly and it was obvious that some did not understand the text they were reading.

standing o

(5 stars)

well done! thanks to the reader for taking gobs of precious time so we can just sit back and listen. bravo!

launcelot's voice was too mechanical and nerissa's too fast

(5 stars)

Very near flawless! Highly recommended!

(4 stars)

Mostly everyone read this story well and the singing was flawless! But some amateur readers sounded too much like they were reading and trying too hard to sound like they were not by attempting to put emotion and emphasis on certain words and reflections but at the wrong places. One reader laughed while reading his lines and should have re-done that part. But mostly this was read and edited very well and I enjoyed 98% of it!

(5 stars)

Listening to the Merchant of Venice makes me create a clear mental picture of the characters and the play. It is more interesting and fun listening than reading it. Am glad I finally found this audio book