All the sheep imagery is on Shylock's side throughout, for he is fleecing the Christians, breeding the ewes. Antonio is generous, kind, and has a good reputation. It is the old, old story of the struggle between parental will and the right to individual choice. In addition, money and possessions are things which he feels he must defend. Back at Belmont, Portia and Bassanio, who have spent all this time together, have fallen in love. The price for not repaying the debt is high, namely a pound of flesh from Antonio, but Antonio is not worried.
The story of the three caskets can be found in , a collection of tales probably compiled at the end of the 13th century. Shylock has become more determined to exact revenge from Christians because his daughter Jessica eloped with the Christian Lorenzo and converted. Portia points out that the contract Shylock holds doesn't give him the right to take any blood from Antonio, and that if Shylock sheds even a drop of blood while cutting Antonio's flesh that all of Shylock's wealth will be confiscated by the state. The prince studies the inscriptions on the three caskets and chooses the gold one, which proves to be an incorrect choice. Antonio, his foil, charges no interest rates at all, which irritates Shylock even more. Only the man who chooses correctly can become Portia's husband.
But then she tells Shylock that though he may take a pound of flesh, it must be exactly a pound, and not a drop of blood can be spilled in the process or Shylock will give up his own life and all that he owns. This economic conservatism contrasts starkly with the aristocratic, gambling nature of Bassanio and the others. Bassanio and Graziano refuse until Antonio intervenes and makes them give the rings to the lawyers. Retrieved 10 October 2018 — via Google Books. Cultural references , French playwright and poet, was commissioned in the 1880s by the actor and theatrical director Paul Porel to make a French-verse adaptation of The Merchant of Venice.
After much hesitation, Shylock agrees—Antonio will guarantee the loan with his property as collateral. Antonio gives his half back to Shylock on the condition that Shylock bequeath it to his disinherited daughter, Jessica. Act I, Scene Two Portia, the wealthy heiress, discusses her many suitors with her noblewoman. Portia as Balthazar then begins to argue that Shylock should have mercy on Antonio, as mercy is a higher order good than justice. If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. Shylock, in turn, cites Antonio's previous mistreatment of him: Antonio has publicly abused him many times and even spat upon his clothing.
However, as Belmont is of course built upon the money from Venice, it depends on gold and inheritance. Meanwhile Portia laments that she has yet to find her special someone. He hath disgraced me and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies — and what's his reason? Before the deception goes too far, however, Portia reveals that she was, in fact, the law clerk, and both she and Nerissa reconcile with their husbands. She then demands that Bassanio show her his ring, which he of course cannot do. Retrieved 10 October 2018 — via Google Books. Shylock is also able to make his money breed like sheep through the charging of interest.
Portia then gives Bassanio a ring and makes him promise that it will never leave his hand, no matter what. When the time comes for canceling the bond, although thrice the amount of the debt is offered to Shylock, he still insists upon his pound of flesh, which by the statutes of Venice he may claim. Finally holding the upper hand, Antonio decides that as punishment, Shylock has to sign an agreement saying that when he dies, all his money will go to Jessica and her new Christian husband. The rock musical Fire Angel was based on the story of the play, with the scene changed to the Little Italy district of New York. When Jacob was working as a shepherd for his uncle Laban, Shylock reminds Antonio, he found a clever way to earn interest for his efforts. Portia and Nerissa, dressed as themselves again, return home and enter the building. The letter also explains that Jessica will be disguised as a boy to aid her escape.
The celebration, however, is cut short by the news that Antonio has indeed lost his ships, and that he has forfeited his bond to Shylock. It is necessary to focus on the conflict between the Christians and the Jews throughout this play. Both outsiders also have been immasculated by the end. After all the other characters make amends, Antonio learns from Portia that three of his ships were not stranded and have returned safely after all. There is one other such idolator in the play: Shylock himself. If Antonio doesn't make good on the loan of 3,000 ducats in three months time, he must pay back a pound of his own flesh. Teasing Antonio for getting so worked up, Shylock then goes on to propose an unusual compromise.
However, when Antonio himself arrives and begins insulting Shylock for committing usury charging interest on his loans , Shylock proposes a bizarre alternative. Portia's reliance on the wishes of her dead father therefore contradicts the image of her as Belmont's ruler. One of the four short stories comprising 's The Bacon Fancier 1999 is also told from Shylock's point of view. Shakespeare brings out these human qualities by causing us to feel sympathy for him. Enraged, Antonio begins to insult Shylock again. The couples are reconciled, and news arrives that Antonio's lost ships have returned safely to port, bearing great riches.