Title: The Merchant of Venice
Author of the Book: William Shakespeare
First published in year: 1597
Genre of the Book: Play
One of Shakespeare â€œshortâ€ and â€œeasier to understandâ€ plays. The language is comparatively easy than most of his plays. The play is basically put under the category of comedy, but with the passage of time, modern readers take it more as a tragedy than comedy, because it actually depicts Christian and Jewish racialism of the era when the play was written.
Main characters of the play are:
* AntonioÂ â€“ a Venetian merchant
* BassanioÂ â€“ Antonio's friend, in love with Portia; suitor likewise to her
* LorenzoÂ â€“ friend of Antonio and Bassanio, in love with Jessica
* PortiaÂ â€“ ...view middle of the document...
Since all his money is invested in business, Antonio is not able to help Bassanio himself. And therefore, asks Shylock â€“ a Jew, for a loan of three thousand ducats. Shylock agrees to give loan without interest but on a condition that if Antonio failed to pay back on time then he shall have a pound of Antonioâ€™s flesh! Antonio agrees with him and signs the bond (contract).
â€œThis kindness will I show.
Go with me to a notary, seal me there
Your single bond; and, in a merry sport,
If you repay me not on such a day,
In such a place, such sum or sums as are
Expressâ€™d in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
In what part of your body pleaseth me.â€ (Act 1; Scene 3)
Bassanio leaves for Belmont with money and there he finally marries Portia after going through a test. In Belmont he comes to hear the news that all of Antonioâ€™s shipâ€™ had been lost. Worried for his friend, he immediately leaves for Venice with six thousand ducats â€”double the amount owedâ€”from Portia.
Antonio could not pay the debt on time and is brought to court by Shylock. Although Duke feels sympathy for Antonio, but since there is a written agreement hence the Duke of Venice cannot bend the rules, and Shylock will not relent.
Does Shylock succeed in his mission and kills Antonio? Or Does Antonio somehow manages to save his life? If yes, then does he do so? Now read the book to know what finally happens. Though very old-fashioned, I would personally recommend reading the book. Itâ€™s a good one, hope you enjoy it.