Visitor Survey Click here! Shakespeare is renowned as the English playwright and poet whose body of works is considered the greatest in history of English literature. Surprisingly for the world's greatest playwright, we actually know very little about Shakespeare's life.
Antonio — a prominent merchant of Venice in a melancholic mood. Bassanio, a young Venetian of noble rank, wishes to woo the beautiful and wealthy heiress Portia of Belmont. Having squandered his estate, he needs 3, ducats to subsidise his expenditures as a suitor.
Bassanio approaches his friend Antonioa wealthy merchant of Venice who has previously and repeatedly bailed him out. He finally agrees to lend the sum to Bassanio without interest upon one condition: With money at hand, Bassanio leaves for Belmont with his friend Gratiano, who has asked to accompany him.
Gratiano is a likeable young man, but he is often flippant, overly talkative, and tactless. Bassanio warns his companion to exercise self-control, and the two leave for Belmont. Meanwhile, in Belmont, Portia is awash with suitors. Her father left a will stipulating each of her suitors must choose correctly from one of three caskets — one each of gold, silver and lead.
If he picks the right casket, he gets Portia. The first suitor, the Prince of Morocco, chooses the gold casket, interpreting its slogan, "Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire", as referring to Portia.
The second suitor, the conceited Prince of Arragon, chooses the silver casket, which proclaims, "Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves", as he believes he is full of merit.
Both suitors leave empty-handed, having rejected the lead casket because of the baseness of its material and the uninviting nature of its slogan, "Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath".
The last suitor is Bassanio, whom Portia wishes to succeed, having met him before. Shylock has become more determined to exact revenge from Christians because his daughter Jessica eloped with the Christian Lorenzo and converted. Shylock has Antonio brought before court. At Belmont, Bassanio receives a letter telling him that Antonio has been unable to repay the loan from Shylock.
The climax of the play takes place in the court of the Duke of Venice. He demands his pound of flesh from Antonio.
The Duke, wishing to save Antonio but unable to nullify a contract, refers the case to a visitor. He identifies himself as Balthazar, a young male "doctor of the law", bearing a letter of recommendation to the Duke from the learned lawyer Bellario.
The doctor is Portia in disguise, and the law clerk who accompanies her is Nerissa, also disguised as a man.
As Balthazar, Portia repeatedly asks Shylock to show mercy in a famous speechadvising him that mercy "is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes" IV, i, However, Shylock adamantly refuses any compensations and insists on the pound of flesh.
She says that the contract allows Shylock to remove only the flesh, not the "blood", of Antonio see quibble. She tells him that he must cut precisely one pound of flesh, no more, no less; she advises him that "if the scale do turn, But in the estimation of a hair, Thou diest and all thy goods are confiscate.
She cites a law under which Shylock, as a Jew and therefore an "alien", having attempted to take the life of a citizen, has forfeited his property, half to the government and half to Antonio, leaving his life at the mercy of the Duke.
Bassanio does not recognise his disguised wife, but offers to give a present to the supposed lawyer. Antonio parts with his gloves without a second thought, but Bassanio gives the ring only after much persuasion from Antonio, as earlier in the play he promised his wife never to lose, sell or give it.
At Belmont, Portia and Nerissa taunt and pretend to accuse their husbands before revealing they were really the lawyer and his clerk in disguise V. After all the other characters make amends, Antonio learns from Portia that three of his ships were not stranded and have returned safely after all.
The play was mentioned by Francis Meres inso it must have been familiar on the stage by that date. The title page of the first edition in states that it had been performed "divers times" by that date.
The play was entered in the Register of the Stationers Companythe method at that time of obtaining copyright for a new play, by James Roberts on 22 July under the title The Merchant of Venice, otherwise called The Jew of Venice.
On 28 October Roberts transferred his right to the play to the stationer Thomas Heyes ; Heyes published the first quarto before the end of the year. The edition is generally regarded as being accurate and reliable.
It is the basis of the text published in the First Foliowhich adds a number of stage directions, mainly musical cues. Shylock and Jessica by Maurycy Gottlieb.
Shylock as a villain[ edit ] English society in the Elizabethan era has been described as "judeophobic".
In Venice and in some other places, Jews were required to wear a red hat at all times in public to make sure that they were easily identified, and had to live in a ghetto protected by Christian guards.Marriage: One of the biggest clues that you're reading a Shakespearean comedy is that the play ends in a marriage (or the promise of one).
By the time The Merchant of . Analysis of The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare's play "The Merchant of Venice" is based on a simple enough plot, but it gives a more complex view of the characters involved.
It portrays each characters attitude, opinions and actions and shows how they affect the other characters. From Michael Radford, the Academy Award(r)-nominated director of Il Postino, comes the critically-acclaimed screen adaptation of William Shakespeare's controversial classic, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.
The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare is the old classics selection for catching up on classics for September This comedy, first printed in five years prior to Shakespeare's death, offers many pressing issues of /5(3K). An index of monologues by William Shakespeare. All's Well That Ends Well.
comic monologue for a man. All's Well That Ends Well. The Merchant of Venice Please see the bottom of this page for extensive explanatory notes, commentary, and other helpful Merchant of Venice resources.