William Shakespeare wrote “The Merchant of Venice” between 1596 and 1598, and it was first performed in 1605. Charles Dickens wrote “Oliver Twist” in 1838, and is one of Dickens most famous stories. Brief summary:
The Merchant of Venice opens on a street in Venice, where Antonio, a Venetian merchant, complains of a sadness he can't quite explain. His friends suggest they'd be sad too if they had as much merchandise to worry about as Antonio. Apparently all of his money is tied up in various sea ventures to exotic locales. But Antonio is certain it's not money that's bothering him. Where/when it happens:
The action takes place in Venice, Italy, and Belmont around 1500-1600. Shakespeare does not identify the precise location of Belmont. Oliver Twist is born into a life of poverty and misfortune in a workhouse in an unnamed town within 75 miles of London. Orphaned almost from his first breath by his mother’s death in childbirth and his father’s unexplained absence, Oliver is meagerly provided for under the terms of the Poor Law, and spends the first nine years of his life at a "baby farm" in the 'care' of a woman named Mrs. Mann. Along with other juvenile offenders against the poor laws, Oliver is brought up with little food and few comforts. Around the time of the orphan ’s ninth birthday, Mr Bumble, a parish beadle, removes Oliver from the baby farm and puts him to work picking oakum at the main branch-workhouse (the same one where his mother worked before she died). Oliver, who toils with very little food, remains in the workhouse for six months, until the desperately hungry boys decide to draw lots; the loser must ask for another portion of gruel. The task falls to Oliver, who at the next meal tremblingly comes forward, bowl in hand, and makes his famous request: "Please, sir, I want some more." Where/When it happens:
The action takes place in nineteenth-century England, London and outside of London (75 miles). The...