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Merchant Of Venice PDF Free Download, Merchant of Venice: Entire Play – Shakespeare, The Merchant Of Venice A Line-by-line Translation PDF Free Download.
Tl;dr (May Contain Spoilers): Shylock Asks For A Pound Of Flesh As Part Of A Loan Contract (Weird), Bassanio Agrees To It (Weirder), And Portia Saves The Day By Cross-dressing And Pretending To Practice The Law (Perfectly Normal).
Antonio, An Antisemitic Merchant, Takes A Loan From The Jew Shylock To Help 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 As 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 Wealthy Portia, Who Lives In Belmont. Antonio Cannot Afford The Loan. Instead, He Sends Bassanio To Borrow The Money On The Security Of Antonio’s Expected Shipments.
At Belmont, Portia And Her Maid, Nerissa, Discuss The Suitors Who Have Come In Response To Portia’s Father’s Strange Will. The Will Says Portia May Only Marry A Man Who Chooses The Correct Casket Made From 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, And That 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. Instead Of Charging Interest, Seemingly As A Kind 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 Agree To That?) And Bassanio Prepares To Leave For Belmont With His Friend Graziano.
Meanwhile, One Of Shylock’s Servants, Launcelot, Wishes To Change Masters And Persuades Bassanio To Employ Him. Shylock’s Daughter, Jessica, Also Longs To Leave 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 With Her. The Following Day, Bassanio Sets Sail For Belmont, While Shylock Rages Over The Loss Of His Daughter And The Treasures She Has Stolen.
In Belmont, One Of Portia’s Suitors (The Prince Of Morocco) Chooses The Golden Casket, While Another (The Prince Of Aragon) Selects Silver. Both Chose The Wrong Casket And Are Unsuccessful. As Aragon Leaves, Bassanio Is Announced. Portia Eagerly Goes To Greet Him.
Antonio, A Venetian Merchant, Complains To His Friends, Salarino And Solanio, That A Sadness Has Overtaken Him And Dulled His Faculties, Although He Is At A Loss To Explain Why. Salarino And Solanio Suggest That His Sadness Must Be Due To His Commercial Investments, For Antonio Has Dispatched Several Trade Ships To Various Ports.
Salarino Says It Is Impossible For Antonio Not To Feel Sad At The Thought Of The Perilous Ocean Sinking His Entire Investment, But Antonio Assures His Friends That His Business Ventures Do Not Depend On The Safe Passage Of Any One Ship. Solanio Then Declares That Antonio Must Be In Love, But Antonio Dismisses The Suggestion.
The Three Men Encounter Bassanio, Antonio’s Kinsman, Walking With Two Friends Named Lorenzo And Gratiano. Salarino And Solanio Bid Antonio Farewell And Depart. When Gratiano Notices Antonio’s Unhappiness And Suggests That The Merchant Worries Too Much About Business, Antonio Responds That He Is But A Player On A Stage, Destined To Play A Sad Part.
Gratiano Warns Antonio Against Becoming The Type Of Man Who Affects A Solemn Demeanor In Order To Gain A Wise Reputation, Then He Takes His Leave With Lorenzo. Bassanio Jokes That Gratiano Has Terribly Little To Say, Claiming That His Friend’s Wise Remarks Prove As Elusive As “two Grains Of Wheat Hid In Two Bushels Of Chaff” (I.i.115–116). Antonio Asks Bassanio To Tell Him About The Clandestine Love That Bassanio Is Harboring. In Reply,
Bassanio Admits That Although He Already Owes Antonio A Substantial Sum Of Money From His Earlier, More Extravagant Days, He Has Fallen In Love With Portia, A Rich Heiress From Belmont, And Hopes To Win Her Heart By Holding His Own With Her Other Wealthy And Powerful Suitors.
In Order To Woo Portia, However, Bassanio Says He Needs To Borrow More Money From Antonio. Antonio Replies That He Cannot Give Bassanio Another Loan, As All His Money Is Tied Up In His Present Business Ventures, But Offers To Guarantee Any Loan Bassanio Can Round Up.
After A Few 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 Is Not Repaid On Time, He Will Insist On The Original Agreement Of One Pound Of Flesh.
At Belmont, Portia Complains To Her Lady-in-waiting, Nerissa, That She Is Weary Of The World Because, As Her Dead Father’s Will Stipulates, She Cannot Decide For Herself Whether To Take A Husband. Instead, Portia’s Various Suitors Must Choose Between Three Chests, One Of Gold, One Of Silver, And One Of Lead, In The Hopes Of Selecting The One That Contains Her Portrait.
The Man Who Guesses Correctly Will Win Portia’s Hand In Marriage, But Those Who Guess Incorrectly Must Swear Never To Marry Anyone. Nerissa Lists The Suitors Who Have Come To Guess—a Neapolitan Prince, A Palatine Count, A French Nobleman, An English Baron, A Scottish Lord, And The Nephew Of The Duke Of Saxony—and Portia Criticizes Their Many Hilarious Faults.
For Instance, She Describes The Neapolitan Prince As Being Too Fond Of His Horse, The Palatine Count As Being Too Serious, The Englishman As Lacking Any Knowledge Of Italian Or Any Of The Other Languages Portia Speaks, And The German Suitor Of Drunkenness. Each Of These Suitors Has Left Without Even Attempting A Guess For Fear Of The Penalty For Guessing Wrong.
This Fact Relieves Portia, And Both She And Nerissa Remember Bassanio, Who Has Visited Once Before, As The Suitor Most Deserving And Worthy Of Praise. A Servant Enters To Tell Portia That The Prince Of Morocco Will Arrive Soon, News That Portia Is Not At All Happy To Hear.
The First Scene Of The Play Introduces Us To A World Of Wealthy, Upper-class Christian Men Living In Venice. Their Conversation Reveals That They Are Men Of Business Who Take Great Risks With Money And Are Careful To Avoid Seeming Overly Concerned About Their Investments. For Example, Antonio Calmly Denies His Associates’ Suggestion That He Is Worried About His Ships, And Salarino’s Description Of A Shipwreck,
With Silks Enrobing The Roaring Waters And Spices Scattered Upon The Stream, Is Lyrical And Poetic Rather Than Practical Or Business-minded. Significantly, The Conversation Throughout This Opening Scene Is Not Really About Business, But Rather Antonio’s Emotional State—his Friends See It As Their Duty To Cheer Him Up. We May Infer That Money Is Very Important To These Men,
But The Code Of Manners That They Share Requires Them To Act As Though Friendship, Camaraderie, And Good Cheer Matter More Than Money. For Example, Salarino Excuses Himself By Asserting That His Only Concern Is To Make Antonio Merry And That He Is Leaving Because Better Friends Have Arrived, But Antonio Knows That Salarino Is Leaving To Attend To His Own Business Affairs. The Christian Men Of The Play Share A Certain Set Of Values, But These Values Are Not Always Entirely Consistent Or Self-evident.
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