The Merchant of Venice Summary
Antonio, an antisemitic merchant, takes a loan from the Jew Shylock to assist his friend to court Portia. Antonio can’t repay the loan, and without mercy, Shylock demands a pound of his flesh. The heiress Portia, now the wife of Antonio’s friend, dresses like a lawyer and saves Antonio.
In Venice, a merchant named Antonio worries that his ships are overdue. As his colleagues offer comfort, his young friends—Bassanio, Graziano, and Lorenzo—arrive. Bassanio asks Antonio for a loan so that he can pursue the rich Portia, who lives in Belmont. Antonio cannot afford the loan. Instead, he sends Bassanio to borrow the cash on the safety of Antonio’s expected shipments.
At Belmont, Portia and her maid, Nerissa, discuss the suitors who have are an available response to Portia’s father’s strange will. the desire says Portia may only marry a person who chooses the right casket made up of three possible options: gold, silver, and lead. Much to Portia’s distress, all her suitors are unsatisfactory. However, she does fondly remember a time when Bassanio came to Belmont, which leaves her with some hope.
Bassanio approaches Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, about the loan. Shylock holds a grudge against Antonio for his lending practices and apparent antisemitism. Still he offers Bassanio the loan. rather than charging interest, seemingly as a sort of joke, he asks for a pound of Antonio’s flesh if the loan isn’t repaid within three months. The bond is agreed to (who wouldn’t comply with that?) and Bassanio prepares to go away for Belmont together with his friend Graziano.
Meanwhile, one among Shylock’s servants, Launcelot, wishes to vary masters and persuades Bassanio to use him. Shylock’s daughter, Jessica, also longs to go away home. She wants to become a Christian and marry Antonio’s friend Lorenzo. Before he departs to serve his new master, Launcelot takes a letter to Lorenzo that contains plans for Lorenzo and Jessica to elope that night. When Shylock goes out, Jessica escapes to elope, taking gold and jewels together with her . the subsequent day, Bassanio sets sail for Belmont, while Shylock rages over the loss of his daughter and therefore the treasures she has stolen.
In Belmont, one among Portia’s suitors (the Prince of Morocco) chooses the golden casket, while another (the Prince of Aragon) selects silver. Both chose the incorrect casket and are unsuccessful. As Aragon leaves, Bassanio is announced. Portia eagerly goes to greet him.
After a couple of days, Shylock hears that his daughter Jessica is squandering her stolen wealth in Genoa. He begins to rail bitterly against Christians. He reminds Antonio’s friends that if the loan isn’t repaid on time, he will enforce the first agreement of 1 pound of flesh.
Back in Belmont, Bassanio chooses the lead casket, and in so doing, he wins Portia. His friend Graziano asks for Portia’s maid Nerissa to be his wife. Portia gives her ring to Bassanio, making him promise never to offer it to a different. As Lorenzo and Jessica come to Belmont, news arrives that Antonio’s ships are lost stumped, and he’s now bankrupt. they’re also told Shylock insists on the fulfillment of his bond and has had Antonio arrested. Bassanio and Graziano leave hurriedly to assist Antonio. Portia and Nerissa resolve to follow afterward, disguised as lawyers.
In the court in Venice, Shylock demands his pound of flesh. The Duke, presiding over the court, seeks legal advice from the lawyer “Balthazar,” who is Portia in disguise. Portia pleads for Shylock to possess mercy on Antonio. Bassanio offers his wife’s money, which might quite pay the debt, but Shylock refuses to simply accept. Antonio’s death is merely prevented as Balthazar explains the bond is for flesh but not for one drop of blood. So Shylock cannot collect the pound of flesh.
For threatening the life of a Venetian, Shylock forfeits his goods to Antonio and Bassanio. Antonio refuses his share of compensation and asks for it to be put during a trust for Lorenzo and Jessica. He also demands that Shylock becomes a Christian. Broken and in submission, Shylock leaves the court. Bassanio and Graziano thank the lawyers, who invite their rings as legal fees. Bassanio and Graziano refuse until Antonio intervenes and makes them give the rings to the lawyers.
Undisguised, Portia and Nerissa return home in the dark to seek out Lorenzo and Jessica enjoying the tranquillity of Belmont. When their husbands arrive, Portia and Nerissa scold them for making a gift of their rings, pretending that they had been given away to other women. soon, they reveal themselves because of the lawyers from the trial. Antonio receives news that his ships have returned safely in any case (looks like we didn’t get to undergo all this mess with in the first place!). The play ends because the three couples prepare to celebrate their marriages.
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