Antonio's friend bassanio owes Antonio money. But his financial situation is so weak that he is not able to repay the debts. He asks Antonio for more money so he may marry the wealthy and beautiful Portia. It may help him to pay back his friend. Antonio has no money to spare but tells Bassanio to use his good name to try to get a loan.
Meanwhile Portia says she has yet to find her special someone. She had a few lovers, but none of them was so good as she wanted. Her late father's will chooses Portia's husbuand by means of three caskets, one gold, one silver and one lead. A suitor must choose one of the the three casket. When a suitor chooses a casket, he makes his worthiness to Portia clear. It will make sure that only the right man for Portia will marry his daughter.
Though Portia does not like any of her past suitors, she does however, remember one man quite fondly. And he is none other than Bassanio. Bassanio gets his loan of three thousand ducats from a jewish merchant named Shylock. The price for not repaying the debt is high, namely a pound of flesh from Antoni. It really appears strange, but Antonio is not worried. He knows that his ships and wealth come back a month before the debt is due. Thus, he hopes, he will be able to solve the problem.
The Prince of Morocco is interested in marrying Portia. He is ready to take the challenge set by Portia's father. Launcelot Gobbo is shylock's srevant. He has a problem. He doesn't like the character and attitude of his boss. However, when he came in contact with Bassanio,he understood how good Bassanio was. After some conversation, Launcelot becomes Bassanio's new servant. Jassica is Shylock's daughter. She loves Lorenzo. She plans to run away with Lorenzo. But, she knows that it will be against her father's wishes. Jessica reveals her shame for her father.
Lorenzo explains to his friends Gratiano, Lorenzo, Salarino and Salanio, how they will help him help Jessica run away from her father. Launcelot, shylock's former servant delivers to Lorenzo a letter from Jessica. The letter explains that Jessica will be waiting at her house for Lorenzo and friends. She has teken some of her father's jewels and gold as well. The letter also explains that Jessica will be disguised as a boy. It will help her to escape from the house.
Jessica escapes from her father's house to live a new life as the wife of Lorenzo. Jessica is embarrassed to be dressed as a boy. Lorenzo and Jessica decide to sail with Bassanio. The Moroccan Prince undergoes the three-casket challange for Portia's hand in marriage. He chooses the gold caskeet and lose.
Lorenzo and Jessica escaped successfully from Shylock is furious at having lost his daughter, his gold and his precious jewels. He knows that Antonio was partially involved in the whole drama. He thinks that he will have to take revenge at any cost. At Belmont, another suitor has arrived, The Prince of Arragon. He chooses the silver casket. But he too fails and goes home in depressed.
Shylock's sole desire at the moment is to take revenge. He no longer wants repayment of Bassanio's debt of three thousand ducats. He would prefer his pound of flesh from Antonio instead. He now sees Antonio as the source of all his miseries.
Bassanio reaches the castle of Portia. She is reluctant to see Bassanio again. She is afraid he would fail the casket challenge. Bassanio takes the challenge, choosing correctly. Bassanio will marry Portia. In the meanwhile, it is also learnt that Gratiano, Bassanio's friend, has fallen in love with Nerissa, Portia's maid. Portia comes to know about the problems of Bassanio and offers to pay shylock the required amount of money. Antonio pleads to let him pay back Bassanio's debt but shylock wants Antonio's pound of flesh and therefore his death. Portia and Nerissa leave Belmont on a secret mission to save Antonio. The disguise themselves as men.
The Duke of Venice attempts to convince Shylock to let Antonio pay back Bassanio's debt. Shylock refuses to listen. He says the Duke that if he ignores their agreement,Venice will lose its credibility as a place for merchants. Portia, now disguised as a man, defends Antonio. Her clever approach saves Antonio. She argues that Shylock can take only a pound of flesh and no more. It is clearly an impossible task.
Thus, Shylock is complelled to make a compromise. Shylock must become Christian and give half his assets to Jessica when he dies. Portia ensures that Shylock will sing a deed making the verdict clear. In return, as a reward the two disguised gentlemen ask for the wedding rings of Gratiano and Bassanio.
Portia and Nerissa arrive back at Belmont before Bassanio, Antonio, Gratiano and their followers. All of them were unaware that it was Portia and Nerissa who defended them in Venice. Nerissa and then Portia scold their husbands for giving away their wedding rings. They say that the ring was an important symbol of their love. The two men attempt to make excuses for this. Portia ends Bassanio's and Gratiano's suffering by revealing the truth. It leaves the two men. They wonder they couldn't even recognize their own wives.
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|April 2013June 2013|