Merchant of Venice Plot

cultural issue -jews were moneylenders and often demonized-women expected to be submissive
stage history portrayal of shylock changed throughout years
time period sixteenth century (1500s)
A1S1 Bassanio asks to borrow money from Antonio, who is sad (no one knows why). Antonio allows him to use his credit (exposition)
A1S2 Portia talks about the suitors & the task they must complete with Nerissa and they later agree that Bassanio is the best choice (exposition)
A1S3 Bassanio takes a loan of 3000 ducats from Shylock in Antonio’s name (who shylock doesn’t like) & Shylock demands a pound of flesh as his bond (exposition)
A2S1 Morocco (suitor) tries to win Portia’s hand and brags about himself, saying that he will give up marriage if he chooses wrongly. (exposition)
A2S2 Launcelot wants to leave his master Shylock because he is Jewish and his father comes looking for him. Launcelot plays a prank because his father does not recognize him and then reveals his plan and goes to Bassanio (exposition)
A2S3 Jessica (Shylock’s daughter) says goodbye to Launcelot and asks Bassanio to deliver a letter to Antonio. Jessica is ashamed of being Jewish. (Exposition)
A2S4 Lorenzo, Gratiano, Salarino, and Solanio want to sneak out to make a plan for Jessica and Lorenzo to get married. Lorenzo recaps the letter (exposition)
A2S5 Launcelot and Shylock tell Jessica about dinner with Bassanio; Jessica must watch the house but declares (to herself) that she will leave for Lorenzo (exposition)
A2S6 Gratiano and Salerio wait for Lorenzo, who is late. He calls to Jessica on her balcony (who is embarrassed of being dressed like a boy) and they run off with Shylock’s money. (Exposition)
A2S8 Salarino and Solanio discuss Jessica leaving her father & Antonio’s crashed ship and decide to visit him (Rising action)
A2S9 Prince of Aragon tries to win Portia but picks silver and finds a picture of an idiot. A messenger tells Portia about another suitor (rising action)
A3S1 Salarino and Solanio discuss Antonio’s other sunken ship and take credit for Jessica’s escape. Shylock revels in revenge on Antonio. Tubal tells Shylock that his daughter took his ring and Shylock wishes her dead.
A3S2 Bassanio chooses the lead box b/c not flashy. Portia gives him a ring and swears to never take it off. Gratiano confesses love for Nerissa. Lorenzo, Jessica, and Salerio tell them of Antonio’s failed ships and Portia lets Bassanio leave (rising action)
A3S3 Antonio is in jail and Shylock shows no mercy; Antonio claims to accept his fate (rising action)
A3S4 Lorenzo thanks Portia for letting Bassanio go & Portia tells him to watch house while they are at monastery. Balthazar is to give a letter to her cousin Bellario in Padua. Portia tells Nerissa of her plan to disguise herself (rising action)
A3S5 Launcelot tells Jessica she can’t go to heaven b/c she was Jewish & makes fun of Lorenzo. Jessica & Lorenzo talk about Portia+. (Rising action)
A4S1 -Shylock insists on his bond and clerk (Nerissa) delivers letter from Bellario about Balthazar (Portia) (rising action)-Portia points out blood loophole &I accuses Shylock of wanting Antonio’s life (climax)
A4S1 Bassanio gives Balthazar (Portia) the ring that he/she requests. Nerissa does the same with Gratiano & they leave to make Shylock sign the deed (falling action)
A5S1 -Lorenzo and Jessica stargaze & talk about Greek Mythology before messenger tells them Portia is almost back. They plan music for her return. (Falling)-Portia & Nerissa, then Bassiano & Antonio return. Portia is wary of Antonio & confronts Bassanio about the ring. Nerissa tells Gratiano did not understand the value of ring or the woman (falling)
A5S1 (end) Bassiano explains himself to Portia and Portia & Nerissa are upset. Gratiano wants to forcefully take back ring. Bassanio begs Portia and she gives ring to Antonio for Bassanio. Portia & Nerissa reveal their identities. Antonio’s ships are safe. Shylock makes Lorenzo his heir (resolution)

You Might Also Like