It is a characteristic of human being and like some other issues about human-specific, Shakespeare uses the issue of loyalty in his two plays The Merchant of Venice and Antony and Cleopatra. He reveals the question of loyalty; existence and lack of it, which greatly contribute to the plot construction of the plays by making it more attractive.
Antonio — a merchant of Venice Bassanio — Antonio's friend, in love with Portia; suitor likewise to her Gratiano, Solanio, Salarino, Salerio — friends of Antonio and Bassanio Lorenzo — friend of Antonio and Bassanio, in love with Jessica Portia — a rich heiress Balthazar — Portia's disguise as a lawyer Stephano — Nerissa's disguise as 'Balthazar's law clerk.
Bassanio, a young Venetian of noble rank, wishes to woo the beautiful and wealthy heiress Portia of Belmont. Having squandered his estate, Bassanio approaches his friend Antonioa wealthy merchant of Venice and a kind and generous person, who has previously and repeatedly bailed him out, for three thousand ducats needed to subsidise his expenditures as a suitor.
Antonio agrees, but since he is cash-poor - his ships and merchandise are busy at sea - he promises to cover a bond if Bassanio can find a lender, so Bassanio turns to the Jewish moneylender Shylock and names Antonio as the loan's guarantor.
Shylock, who hates Antonio because of his Anti-Judaism and Antonio's customary refusal to borrow or lend money with interest, is at first reluctant, citing abuse he has suffered at Antonio's hand, but finally agrees to lend Antonio the sum without interest upon the condition that if Antonio is unable to repay it at the specified date, he may take a pound of Antonio's flesh.
Bassanio does not want Antonio to accept such a risky condition; Antonio is surprised by what he sees as the moneylender's generosity no "usance" — interest — is asked forand he signs the contract. 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 is often flippant, overly talkative, and tactless. Bassanio warns his companion to exercise self-control, and the two leave for Belmont and Portia.
Meanwhile in Belmont, Portia is awash with suitors. Her father has 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 chooses the right casket, he gets Portia.
The first suitor, the luxurious Prince of Morocco, chooses the gold casket, interpreting its slogan "Choose me and get what most men desire" as referring to Portia. The second suitor, the conceited Prince of Arragonchooses the silver casket, which proclaims "Choose Me And Get What You Deserve", imagining himself to be 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: As Bassanio ponders his choice, members of Portia's household sing a song which says that "fancy" not true love is "engend'red in the eyes, With gazing fed.
At Venice, Antonio's ships are reported lost at sea. This leaves him unable to satisfy the bond. Shylock is even more determined to exact revenge from Christians after his daughter Jessica had fled home and eloped with the Christian Lorenzo, taking a substantial amount of Shylock's wealth with her, as well as a turquoise ring which was a gift to Shylock from his late wife, Leah.
Shylock has Antonio brought before court. At Belmont, Bassanio receives a letter telling him that Antonio has been unable to return the loan taken from Shylock. Portia and Bassanio marry, as do Gratiano and Portia's handmaid Nerissa.
Bassanio and Gratiano then leave for Venicewith money from Portia, to save Antonio's life by offering the money to Shylock. Unknown to Bassanio and Gratiano, Portia has sent her servant, Balthazar, to seek the counsel of Portia's cousin, Bellario, a lawyer, at Padua.
The climax of the play comes in the court of the Duke of Venice. Shylock refuses Bassanio's offer of 6, ducats, twice the amount of the loan.
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 who introduces 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 actually Portia in disguise, and the law clerk who accompanies her is actually Nerissa, also in disguise. As Balthazar, Portia repeatedly asks Shylock to show mercy in a famous speech, advising him that mercy "is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. As the court grants Shylock his bond and Antonio prepares for Shylock's knife, Portia points out that the contract only allows Shylock to remove the flesh, not the "blood", of Antonio see quibble.
Thus, if Shylock were to shed any drop of Antonio's blood, his "lands and goods" would be forfeited under Venetian laws. Further damning Shylock's case, 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.
The Duke immediately pardons Shylock's life. Antonio asks for his share "in use" that is, reserving the principal amount while taking only the income until Shylock's death, when the principal will be given to Lorenzo and Jessica.
At Antonio's request, the Duke grants remission of the state's half of forfeiture, but on the condition of Shylock converting to Christianity and bequeathing his entire estate to Lorenzo and Jessica IV,i. Bassanio does not recognise his disguised wife, but offers to give a present to the supposed lawyer.
First she declines, but after he insists, Portia requests his ring and Antonio's gloves.
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.Jun 01, · Why the Merchant of Venice is a Comedy Although many people view the play, The Merchant of Venice, as a tragedy, they are often ignoring the humor that Shakespeare included in the story to make it more entertaining.
The Merchant of Venice is a tragic comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between and Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and is best known for Shylock and the famous 'Hath not a Jew eyes' speech.
Bassanio - A gentleman of Venice, and a kinsman and dear friend to Antonio. Bassanio’s love for the wealthy Portia leads him to borrow money from Shylock with Antonio as his guarantor.
Bassanio’s love for the wealthy Portia leads him to borrow money from Shylock with Antonio as his guarantor. The imposing of religion onto non Christians believers is the evil that is ornament by the force of the people believing in that religion.
Allusions referring to “Hercules and Mars”, are contrasted to “cowards, whose hearts are all as false”. His friend, the merchant of Venice, borrows money from a Jew because for the Venitian lover, and this story brings the issue dealing justice.
Summary. A young Venitian falls in love with a woman named Portia Characters. Antonio - a merchant of Venice, the one who borrows money from Shylock for his friend, Bassanio. In some of his most highly-charged scenes, Shakespeare dramatises the competing claims of tolerance and intolerance, religious law and civil society, justice and mercy; while in the character of Shylock he created one of the most memorable outsiders in all theatre.