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Shakespeare and Venice is the first book length study to describe and chronicle the mythology of Venice that was formulated in the Middle Ages and has persisted in fiction and film to the present day. Graham Holderness focuses specifically on how that mythology was employed by Shakespeare to explore themes of conversion, change, and metamorphosis. Identifying and outlining the materials having to do with Venice which might have been available to Shakespeare, Holderness provides a full historical account of past and present Venetian myths and of the city's relationship with both Judaism and Islam. Holderness also provides detailed readings of both The Merchant of Venice and of Othello against these mythical and historical dimensions, and concludes with discussion of Venice's relevance to both the modern world and to the past.