Peter Dawkins ideas provide a unique insight into the philosophical and spiritual traditions of Shakespeare's age. They elucidate and elaborate the mythic patterns within the text and highlight its role as a Mystery Drama in the Greek tradition. Students of Wisdom teachings, theatre practitioners and interested theatregoers will enjoy this fascinating and provocative exploration of one of Shakespeare's most controversial plays. Originally written to complement a Globe Theatre production of "The Merchant of Venice", this work allows the reader to understand the philosophical and spiritual traditions of Shakespeare's age. As well as placing the play in context, the author shows how the five main plots of the play develop and how certain themes within the play relate to philosophical traditions dating back to the Ancient Greeks. These philosophical traditions are shown to be at the heart of any understanding of "The Merchant of Venice" and by looking in detail at them the book provides new insights for both audiences and actors alike.