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The Merchant of Venice
Transcript of The Merchant of Venice
Four Important Characters:
1. Making a deal with Shylock
2. Discussing Portia's fathers wishes
3. The princes picking the wrong caskets
4. Bassanio going to Portia
5. Jessica running away
The Merchant of Venice
Acts 1 and 2:
When we are first introduced he is walking in on Antonio very upset and being comforted by Salerio and Salanio.
Bassanio is Antonio's Kingsman and knowing that he still owes Antonio money but explains that he needs to borrow money again because he has fallen in love with Portia.
Bassanio is determined to win the love of this girl and ready to do anything he can to get to her. He is so focused on this girl that he forgets Antonio is upset. Bassanio is broke so he asks for money anyway.
Bassanio is close friends with Antonio who he asks to lend him money despite still being in debt to Antonio.
Bassanio shares a friendship with Antonio that is very strong. This is shown throughout the whole play. They will do anything for each other and that is why Antonio is the first person he went to when he needed help.
When Shylock makes the deal with Antonio for a pound of flesh Bassanio is skeptical. He is worried about his friend and doesn't want to cause him pain or death.
Bassanio is a very caring man and would do anything for the people who mean a lot to him.
Next Bassanio accepts Launcelot as his servant and also allows Gratiano to come with him as long as he stays in line. He doesn't want anyone ruining his chances with Portia and knows Gratiano can have a big mouth.
Bassanio and Antonio have a 'tearful parting' before Bassanio leaves.
The play opens with Antonio being very upset. Salarino and Solanio ask him if he's worried about the returning of his ships and he says no. They then ask him if he is in love and he declines that assumption as well.
Bassnaio is Antonio's best friend. He would do anything for him. So when he ask's for money Antonio willingly goes to Shylock a man who he has bad history with and makes an agreement that risks his life. All just to get money to lend his dear friend.
Antonio's money is currently tied up in business. Much of his wealth is being carried by ships at this time, but this doesn't seem to bother him.
Antonio allows Bassanio to take advantage of him in a way. Antonio agreeing to put a pound of his own flesh on the line is a strong statement. It is similar to the idea of marriage and and sharing the same flesh.
When Bassanio leaves it is a sad parting between Antonio and Bassanio. This does not help Antonios depressing mood. He will miss Bassanio very much.
Antonio refers to himself as being destined to play the sad part in a play.
Portia is Bassanio's Motivation.
Bassanio is a very caring man, but his money doesn't seem to be enough to keep him happy. Somethings else is bothering him.
When we are introduced to Portia she is complaining to Nerissa, her maid and friend, that the burden of marrying the man her dead father assigns is tiring.
When Portias father passed away he set up three caskets for legible men to choose from to prove the winner of Portias love.
However, the idea of marrying someone Portia doesn't love is terrifying to her. She wants to follow her beloved fathers wishes but is in conflict because she also wants to be happy.
However, unlike most girls in this time Portia grew up with no father. For this reason she is very independent.
Portia is a beautiful, smart and independent girl with lots of money and this lures many rich men. Portia has very strong opinions about these men and tries to scare them off praying the wrong man won't pick the right casket.
The first suitor to show up is Prince of Morocco and Portia tries to scare him off by explaining the serious penalty of choosing the wrong casket.
To Portias relief Prince of Morocco chooses wrong.
Next the prince of Arragon comes for his chance and is the next to guess wrong.
Portia makes fun of all the suitors.
She likes Neapolitans horses more than him.
County Palatine is depressing and dopey.
Falconbridge has no personalty.
None of these men meet her standards of the perfect man.
A messenger arrives to tell Portia a man from Belmont is coming to try win her and she prays it is Bassanio.
Portia's Motive is Love
Shylock takes part in two story lines in this play and is an important Antagonist.
Shylock is a jew and for that reason is treated very poorly. So when Antonio asks for a loan he is at first reluctant.
Eventually he agrees to lend him money but refuses to join them for dinner. Shylock holds a strong grudge against Christians. He makes a deal with Antonio that if he doesn't pay in time he must give him a pound of his own flesh.
Yet as a sign of friendship he makes the loan interest free.
Shylock has a daughter who he loves very much named Jessica. However, she tries to rebel against his wishes .
During the masquerade Shylock tells his daughter to stay in her room and not pay attention to it. When Shylock leaves Jessica steals his jewels and money and runs away with Lorenzo who is a Christian.
Shylock is Furious.
Shylock's motive is revenge and love
Shylock knows jews are just as much people as Christians and wants equality. The harsh way he is treated makes him hungry for vengeance.
Making a Deal with Shylock:
"Fair sir, you spat on me on Wednesday last; You spurn'd me such a day; another time you call'd me a dog-and for these courtesies Ill lend you thus much money?"
- Shylock(Pg. 41)
A very important scene in this play is when Shylock gives Antonio the loan. Antonio uses his good reputation with money to get, at first reluctant Shylock, to agree to lend him the money. Antonio is a rich Christian and is very disrespectful to Jews. Even Shylock directly. Antonio is able to convince Shylock that to make buisness with someone you don't need to like them. Shylock is hungry for revenge and we know that if Antonio's ships don't return this could end very badly.
Portia's Fathers Wishes
"Your father was very virtuous, and holy men at their death have good inspirations; therefore, the lottery that he hath devised in these three chests of gold, silver and lead, whereof who chooses his meaning chooses you, will, no doubt, never be chosen by any rightly but one who you shall rightly love." - Nerissa (Pg. 24)
In act one, scene two Portia is discussing how having a man win her love by luck is hard on her. Nerissa is quick to remind her that her father was a very wise man and how he chose for Portia to fall in love must have meaning. Portia then agrees she wishes to follow her fathers wishes and will simply hope for the best. This scene shows that Portia will follow the outcome of the chest's because of her love for her wise father.
Picking the wrong Casket
"You must take your chance; And either not attempt to choose at all, Or swear before you choose, if you choose wrong, never speak to a lady afterward."-Portia (Pg.51)
The trick to picking a casket is if you pick the wrong one you are not allowed to marry another woman for the rest of your life. In these first two acts two princes try and they both fail. Before both of them tried Portia explained to them that she is not only not interested, but wishes they wouldn't risk such a burden of being alone forever. These two princes who Portia is not interested in picking the wrong caskets is very suspenseful and thought to be great luck for Portia.
Bassanio going to Portia
"O My Antonio, had I but the means to hold a rival place with one of them, I have a mind presages me such thrift That I should question less be fortunate."-Antonio (Pg.17)
After receiving the money from Antonios loan Bassanio sets off to win Portia. He is convinced that if he gets the chance he will be able to pick the right casket and have her love. The determination Bassanio has to get to her is what will end up winning her love.
Jessica Running Away
"I am sorry Thou wilt leave my father so: Our house is hell, and thou, and merry devil"-Jessica (Pg.73)
Jessica hates her life at home with her father Shylock. Her and Lorenzo are secretly in love. They make a plan to use disguises during the masquerade parade to run away. When Shylock hears about the masquerade he tells Jessica to stay in her room and ignore it. He wishes for her to have the same believes that he does about the mis-treating of jews. However, as soon as Shylock leaves Jessica dressed as a boy takes his money and jewels and runs away with Lorenzo. This makes Shylock furious and gives him another reason to hate Christians.
Four Important Characters:
Shylocks determination to get revenge for the Christian boy taking away his daughter is the strongest motive to get revenge on Antonio. He doesn't plan on giving any mercy, explaining that mercy is never shown to him.
Shylock gives a very famous speech in this act defending himself and showing the inhumanity of Christians. He demands that nothing will distract him from revenge on his enemies.
Shylock is more than happy to hear Antonio's ships have been lost and knows exactly what he will do now that Antonio is in HIS power. He will kill him.
When Shylock finds out Jessica has been spending his money foolishly this just makes him more angry.
When Antonio approaches Shylock on the streets he is angry that Antonio has any freedom at all. He does not let Antonio try ask for mercy and simply demands he is put back in jail.
Shylock is furious and Hungry for revenge.
Antonio's biggest fear has come true. His ships with all of his fortunes have been lost at sea. He is now in Shylock's power.
There isn't much Antonio can do. He has been arrested and must now wait until court where he will most likely be put to death.
Hearing this speech makes us realize Shylock is an
Antonio is able to get his jailer to take him out on the streets to plead mercy from Shylock. Shylock doesn't listen, he orders Antonio to be put back in jail until the trial.
Antonio knows the duke won't break the law for him because it will ruin his reputation.
Antonio prays Bassanio will arrive.
Gratanio wanting to join Bassanio on this trip turns out to have some meaning.
When Gratiano hears Portia and Bassanio will be getting married he announces that he is also now engaged with Nerissa. This puts the play at a climax of happiness and joy.
After this act the purpose of handsome and charming Gratiano becomes clear.
Portia is filled with relief when the beloved Bassanio arrives. She begs him to delay picking a casket with the fear of him picking the wrong one. She doesn't want to lose his company.
She considers the idea of cheating and telling Bassanio which casket but changes her mind not wanting to disrespect her fathers wishes.
When Bassanio picks the right casket the happy couple vow to love each other forever. She then gives him a ring and explains if he were to part with it it would signify their love ending.
When Bassanio finds out Antonio's ships have been lost Portia shares his guilt. She says she will not sleep in a bed with him until he is happy and encourages him to go help his friend. She also offers to pay twenty times the sum, explaining she will do anything to make Bassanio happy.
Portia believes saving her dear husbands friend is indifferent from saving her own husband. She is a very caring girl and her love and devotion for Bassanio is very strong.
Portia, being the intelligent girl she is, thinks of a plan for her and Nerissa to dress as men and go save their husbands. They set off and the act ends.
1. Shylock's monologue
2. Portia and bassanio fall in love
3. Bassanio picks the correct casket
4. Gratiano and Nerissa engaged
5. Antonio get's arrested
Shylock's monologue proves to us just how strong his hatred toward Antonio and any other Christian is. Jessica running away has taken this hatred to a whole new level. Shylock explains that he is mistreated simply because he is a Jew. He finishes by saying he is ready to show the lessons of hatred and revenge that the Christians have taught him. Shylock will have no mercy for Antonio.
"To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me," -Shylock (Pg.123)
Portia and Bassanio Fall in love
When Bassanio arrives him and Portia quickly fall in love. This is the first contestant that Portia adored. We automatically have a liking toward Bassanio knowing that him and Portia would make eachother happy. Portia even considers cheating to make him win, but brushes that idea aside due to her respect for her father. Portia is scared for Bassanio to pick the wrong casket, she doesn't want to lose him.
"I pray you, tarry, pause a day or two Before you hazard; for, in choosing wrong, I lose your company"
-Portia (Pg 133)
Bassanio Picks the Correct Casket
After examining the casket and comparing their appearance to reality Bassanio picks the lead casket and is correct. Bassanio has won Portia's hand in marriage. Portia gives him a ring to swear never to lose and they will be devoted to each other's love as long as they live. Everyone is happy.
"To wish myself much better; yet, for you, I would be trebled twenty times myself; A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more rich." -Portia (Pg 141)
Gratiano and Nerissa engaged
Just when we think things couldn't get better we find out why Gratiano wished to join Bassanio on his trip. he is in love with Nerissa and they also plan to get married. This is a climax of happiness in the play as the happy couples celebrate.
"The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you, even at that time I may be married too."- Gratiano (Pg 143)
Antonio is Arrested
Antonios three months are up and his ships did not return. This was his biggest fear, and it is now coming true. He is able to get his Jailer to allow him to go talk to Shylock but Shylock is showing no mercy. Antonio prays Bassanio will return, he needs a miracle.
"I'll have my bond, I will not hear thee speak: I'll have my bond and therefore speak no more."
"Your mind is tossing on the ocean, or as it were, the pageants of the sea."
Salerio Talking to Antonio about why he is sad. He compares his mind to 'The pageants of the sea'.
"It is no mean happiness therefore, to be seated in the mean"
Nerissa Talking to Portia about why she is worried. Saying happiness is mean.
"By Jacob's staff I swear I have no mind of feasting forth tonight"
Shylock comparing going to the masquerade parade to feasting.
"O ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly, to seal loves bond new made"
Salerio talking about pigeons flying faster when it's for love. Exaggerating how fast.
"His, thee, gentle Jew"
Antonio calling Shylock a gentle Jew, knowing he is anything but gentle and is actually furious with Antonio.
Acts 4 and 5
"Than young Alcides when he did redeem the virgin tribute paid by howling Troy to the sea monster, I stand for sacrifice. "
Portia comparing herself to howling to the sea monster.
"Only my blood speaks to you in my veins."
Portia giving human traits to her blood when talking to Bassanio.
"Here is a letter lady; The paper as the body of my friend."
Bassanio comparing the letter from Antonio to the body of Antonio. Symbolizing how important and serious it is.
"I come by note to give, and to receive. Like one of two contending in a prize that thinks he hath done well in people’s eyes"
Bassanio comparing himself to one of two contending in a prize. (For Portia)
"Let me choose, for as I am, I live upon the rack."
Bassanio comparing himself to living on a rack when talking about being an option to Portia.
Four important characters:
No matter how much everyone begs Shylock as mercy he knows that this is his one chance to get revenge on a Christian and will not back down.
Some people few Shylock as inhumane and cruel but he can also be viewed as mistreated and forced to prove himself.
Shylock is offered large sums of money but turns them down. He simply wants to make Antonio suffer.
When Portia arrives Shylocks plans are completely shut down. He is made a fool and can no longer follow through without putting himself in danger.
The accusations are turned around and Shylock is framed the villain. To keep his wealth he is forced to lose his religion and pass his earnings on to Jessica and Lorenzo. He is lucky to even escape with his life. Shylock has been cornered and out smarted.
Shylock is left in the dust and defeated. He believes he has been been treated unequally once again but can do nothing about it. He is forced to go home and forget it ever even happened.
When Bassanio shows up to help Antonio he is desperate to find someway to help his friend. However there is nothing he can do.
He tries to convince Shylock to have mercy but he won't have it. Bassanio knows he will never forgive himself if Antonio is put to death over this. He tell's Bassanio he would even give up his wife to save his life. This is the extreme and show's how strongly Bassanio really appreciates Antonio.
This is a very emotional time for Bassanio.
Once Antonio is released Bassanio is filled with relief. He can now go back home and live happily ever after with his wife.
When the doctor asks for the ring Bassanio at first say's no. Antonio tells him it's only fair to give the ring to their savior. Bassanio regretfully gives up the ring knowing Portia will not be happy with him.,
Once Bassanio arrives home and finds out Portia's disguise and get's his ring back he couldn't be happier. Everything Bassanio had hoped for came true. He has come a long way from the start of this play. With high hopes for his future with Portia, Bassanio will live happily ever after.
When Portia enters the court room knowing she is Antonio's last chance at a miracle she is calm and collective.
Portia doesn't let the pressure get to her. She sticks to the plan and play's her role as a man very well. She is calm and assertive and is able to successfully save her fiances best friend.
Portia test's her husbands reliability by asking him for the ring she has made him promise to never give away. She forces him to hand it over knowing it will make him worry for her reaction back at home. This sly move shows what Portia is capable of and that Bassanio should always be on his toes. She shouldn't be underestimated.
Portia is forgiving of Bassanio when explaining she tricked him into giving her the ring. She doesn't hold a grudge.
Portia ends up with a happy ending. With a husband rightfully chosen under the circumstances of her father. She loves Bassanio very much and will for the rest of her life.
Just before Antonio was to be put to death he accepts his life being lost. He tell's Bassanio that he is content with being sacrificed for him to be happy.
When Antonio is saved he is very grateful but not as happy as expected. He tell's Bassanio it's only right for him to give the duke his ring since he is the man who saved his life!
Bassanio leaves and although Antonio is alive and has all of his fortunes he still doesn't find much reason to be happy.
Unlike most other characters, although Antonio has gone through so much, he is left feeling how he did from the start. Upset. With no one really knowing the reason why.
Nothing has changed for Antonio.
He is left to try be happy with the outcome
of these events.
1) Shylock refusing to give mercy
2)Portia points out Shylock's flaw
3)Portia taking the ring
4)Three happy couples
5)Antonio still sad
Shylock refusing mercy
When we first enter the court room Shylock refuses to give mercy. He is seeking revenge and is full of hate for Christians. No amount of them begging is going to stop him. This is a very intense and emotional climax in the play.
"The pound of flesh which I demand of him, Is dearly bought;'tis mine and I will have it. If you deny me, fie upon your law! There id no force in the decrees of Venice. I stand for judgement." - Shylock (Pg. 191)
Portia arrives disguised as Balthasar. Portia is very calm about how she confronts Shylock. First she tries to convince him to show mercy but he refuses. She then confirms the bond and Shylock prepares to cut Antonio's flesh from his body. Just before the knive touches his skin Portia stops him. She reminds him the bond allows flesh but no blood. Therefore if any bled Shylock has committed a crime and will lose everything. She then points out the penalty for threatening a Venetian life. Shylock is sure to lose everything. Antonio then gives him the option to convert to Christianity. The tables completely turn and Portia has now put Shylock back under Antonio's power and saved the day.
"The words expressly are 'a pound of flesh; But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed One drop of Christi blood, thy lands and goods are, by the laws of Venice confiscated." -Portia (Pg.195)
Portia Taking the ring
Just when you think Portia is done with her tricks she uses her disguise to convince Bassanio into giving her his wedding ring out of guilt. This is the first thing Bassanio has done to upset Portia and he is very worried. Antonio assures him it was the right thing to do, this is the man who has saved his life. This further proves Portia's intelligence and ability.
"Only for this, I pray you, pardon me." -Bassanio (Pg. 201)
Three Happy Couples
You can't help but feel happy in this last scene. Bassanio and Portia are together, the ring is dealt with, Antonio is alive and they are in love. Nerissa and Gratiano are together and following Portia's and Bassanio's path to happiness. Just when Jessica and Lorenzo think they couldn't be happier they find out the will inherit Shylock's wealth. Wedding planning will begin as the couples head off to live their happy love filled lives.
"In such a night, did young Lorenzo swear he lov'd her well, stealing her soul with many vows of faith, and ne're a true one." - Jessica (Pg. 213)
Antonio Still Sad
Antonio is alive and his ships have returned. He was able to help his beloved friend find the love of his life, yet he is still unhappy. Antonio is the only character still in the same position her as at the beginning of this play. Him and Shylock are the only two characters unhappy, but he is the only one unhappy with no apparent reason to be...Could he be in love with Bassanio?
"Give me your hand , bassanio: fare you well! Grieve not that I am fall'n to this for you, here in fortune shows herself more kind." - Antonio (Pg. 193)
"Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way of starved people"
Lorenzo comparing how the girls make them feel to starved people.
"I had it of him; pardon me, Bassanio, For by this ring the doctor lay with me."
Portia saying she had to sleep with the doctor to get the ring back but the audience knows it was her all along.
"Let me give light, but let me not be light"
Portia while describing how she will love Bassanio.
"When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees"
A line by Lorenzo, giving the wind human traits.
"Why , this is like the mending of highways In summer where the ways are fair enough! "
Gratiano comparing how happy they all are to the mending's of highways in summer.