Antonio, the Merchant of Venice, lends three thousand ducats to his friend Bassanio in order to assist him in his wooing of the wealthy and beautiful Portia of Belmont.
Antonio’s own money is tied up in business ventures that depend on the safe return of his ships from sea, so he borrows the money from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender whom he has previously insulted for his high rates of interest.
Shylock lends the money against a bond. Failure to repay the loan on the agreed date will entitle Shylock to a pound of Antonio’s flesh.
When Antonio can’t repay the loan, and without mercy, Shylock demands a pound of his flesh.
The heiress Portia, now the wife of Bassanio, dresses as a lawyer and attends the Court hearing, but can she save Antonio?