The Merchant of Venice is a comedic play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. It is one of Shakespeare's most controversial plays, often being cited as antisemitic.
The play focuses on Bassanio, a young Venetian, who wishes to travel to Belmont to court the heiress Portia, his friend Antonio (a merchant), and Shylock (a Jewish moneylender).
- "In a major feat of death-defying intellectualism never seen before," Gonzo recites excerpts from Act 1, scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice while suspended by his nose from a feather boa nine feet in the air in episode 222 of The Muppet Show.
- Gladys the Cow paraphrases The Merchant of Venice in Episode 1056 of Sesame Street after Gordon refers to her as "just a cow": "Hath not a cow eyes? Hath not a cow ears? Hath not a cow horns? If you prick us, do we not draw blood? If you milk us, do we not moo?"
- "Monsterpiece Theater" on Sesame Street featured a segment entitled, "Monsters of Venice". The people of Venice (Anything Muppets) get ready for their big party. Grover and the monsters of Venice get upset because they weren't invited. But it turns out to be a surprise party for the monsters of Venice.
- Ben Browder played Leonardo in a 1989 Broadway production.
- Raymond Coulthard played the Prince of Arragon in a 2001 TV version.
- Mackenzie Crook played Lancelot Gobbo in a 2004 film version.
- John Franklyn-Robbins played Antonio in a 1980 TV version.
- Michael Hordern played Shylock in a 1955 TV version.
- Jeremy Irons played Antonio in a 2004 film version.
- Gemma Jones played Portia in a 1980 TV version.
- Joseph O'Conor played Gartiano in a 1949 TV version (the trial scene only).
- Bob Peck played Shylock in a 1996 TV version.
- Edward Petherbridge played Lorenzo in a 1972 TV version
- John Sessions played Salerio in a 2004 film version.
- Orson Welles directed, adapted, and played Shylock in an unreleased 1969 version, designed for TV