March 13th

A companion piece, of sorts, to yesterday’s Midsummer Nights Dream, here is a 1600 quarto of The Merchant of Venice, published in the same year:

Although both plays were published in 1600, they had been performed on the stage for some time before, since 1598 at the latest, since it was then that Francis Meres wrote his praise of Shakespeare’s plays in a commonplace book called Palladis Tamia (to be featured here later on), including in his list Midsummer Nights Dream and The Merchant of Venice, along with Richard II, Loves Labours Lost, Richard III, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Titus Andronicus.

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