Now considered a tragic comedy, Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is possibly the playwright's most controversial work. Thought to have been written between 1596 and 1598, the play features a charged plot between the "rich Jew and moneylender" Shylock and the "virtuous Christian" Antonio. Shylock is now regarded as one of Shakespeare's most famous and complex characters, along with title tragic heroes like Hamlet, Othello and Macbeth. Shylock's monologue featuring lines like "Hath a Jew not eyes?" and "If you prick us, do we not bleed?" are among the most quoted in all of Shakespearean literature. Portia's trial of the caskets doesn't go unnoticed by scholars, either. Together with Jessica, Shylock's daughter, Portia is one of the most studied female characters from the playwright's comedies.