Merchant of Venice: Summary

1.1 Antonio, a Venetian merchant , has invested all his wealth in trading expeditions. Bassanio, his friend and kinsman, asks him for money to go to Belmont, where Bassanio hopes to marry the heiress Portia. Antonio gives Bassanio permission to borrow the money on Antonio’s credit.
1.2 At Portia’s estate of Belmont, Portia and Nerissa talk over Portia’s frustration at being unable to choose her own husband. According to her father’s will, she may marry only the man who chooses correctly among three small chests of gold, silver, and lead. Portia likes none of the suitors that have so far arrived. A messenger enters to announce the coming of a new suitor, the Prince of Morocco.
1.3 In Venice Bassanio goes to Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, to borrow, in Antonio’s name, 3,000 ducats.
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