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What is a summary of Merchant of Venice?

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2017-08-02 20:53:27

Bassanio wants to court the wealthy Portia but needs money. He

gets his friend Antonio to borrow the money for him from the Jewish

moneylender Shylock. Shylock hates Antonio because he is an

Anti-Semite and adds a clause in the contract that says that if

Antonio doesn't pay on time, Shylock can take a pound of flesh from

anywhere on Antonio's body. Antonio agrees to this, thinking it is

a joke. Bassanio goes to Portia's house and passes the test

Portia's father has set for all suitors, and marries her. But then

news comes that Antonio has had a business crisis and cannot pay

Shylock. Shylock takes Antonio to court. Portia disguises herself

as a lawyer and advises the Duke, who is the judge, that Shylock

has a good case, just to see if he will go through with it and kill

Antonio. When it is apparent that Shylock really means it, Portia

raises the point that the contract does not allow Shylock to shed

blood, and through a number of other pieces of legal trickery,

deprives Shylock of all his money and forces him to change

religion. For this service, she demands that Bassanio give her for

her fee his wedding ring, which he does, only to get a talking-to

from his wife when he gets home.


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