Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
- Full Title: The Merchant of Venice
- When Written: 1596–8
- Where Written: England
- When Published: 1623
- Literary Period: The Renaissance
- Genre: Comedy/tragicomedy; Revenge tragedy
- Setting: Venice, and the nearby country estate of Belmont
- Climax: The trial of Antonio, the merchant, and Shylock, the Jewish moneylender
- Antagonist: Shylock
"Which is the merchant here? And which the Jew?" Modern audiences of Merchant of Venice often mistake Shylock for the "merchant" of the title—which actually refers to Antonio.