Antonio The merchant of Venice Melancholy Anti-Semitic Well-liked by his friends Borrows money to help his friend, Bassanio http://moviesmedia.ign.com/movies/image/article/574/57 4981/jeremy-irons-20041221051651434-000.jpg
Bassanio Gentleman of Venice His love for wealthy Portia prompts him to borrow money An ineffectual businessman but worthy suitor http://www.aceshowbiz.com/images/still/mer chant_of_venice04.jpg
Portia Wealthy heiress from Belmont Beautiful and intelligent Forced to marry whichever man can correctly solve her dead fathers riddle Dresses as a law clerk to save the day http://images.allmoviephoto.com/2004_The_Mercha nt_of_Venice/2004_merchant_of_venice_007.jpg
Shylock Jewish moneylender in Venice Mistreated by the Christians of Venice Plots revenge by demanding a pound of Antonios flesh as repayment on loan http://emsworth.files.wordpress.com/200 9/10/shylock-al-pacino-2004-movie.jpg
The Plot In Venice, Antonio and Bassanio approach Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, for a loan so Bassanio can travel in style to court Portia. Shylock nurses a long- standing grudge against Antonio, who has made a habit of berating Shylock and other Jews for their usury, the practice of loaning money at exorbitant rates of interest, and who undermines their business by offering interest-free loans. Although Antonio refuses to apologize for his behavior, Shylock acts agreeably and offers to lend Bassanio three thousand ducats with no interest. Shylock adds, however, that should the loan go unpaid, Shylock will be entitled to a pound of Antonios own flesh. Bassanio arrives at Portias estate, and they declare their love for one another. Despite Portias request that he wait before choosing, Bassanio immediately picks the correct casket, which is made of lead. He and Portia rejoice. The celebration, however, is cut short by the news that Antonio has indeed lost his ships, and that he has forfeited his bond to Shylock. Bassanio immediately travel s to Venice to try and save Antonios life. After they leave, Portia leaves for Venice disguised as a man.
The Climax Shylock ignores the many pleas to spare Antonios life, and a trial is called to decide the matter. Portia, disguised as a lawyer, asks Shylock to show mercy, but he remains inflexible and insists the pound of flesh is rightfully his. Portia reminds him that he must do so without causing Antonio to bleed, as the contract does not entitle him to any blood. Trapped by this logic, Shylock hastily agrees to take Bassanios money instead, but Portia insists that Shylock take his bond as written, or nothing at all. Portia informs Shylock that he is guilty of conspiring against the life of a Venetian citizen, which means he must turn over half of his property to the state and the other half to Antonio. Antonio also forgoes his half of Shylocks wealth on the condition that Shylock must convert to Christianity.
Famous Quotes In the twinkling of an eye. (Act II, scene ii) All that glitters is not gold. (Act II, scene vii) "If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?(Act III, scene i)