The merchant of Venice riassunto in inglese




The merchant of Venice riassunto in inglese


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The merchant of Venice riassunto in inglese


The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare


The Merchant of Venice is a comedy written by William Shakespeare between 1596-97.

The story is set in 14th century, partly at Venice and partly at Belmont.

The main characters are: Antonio, a merchant of Venice; Bassanio, a young venetian gentleman and Antonio’s friend; Portia, a rich and beautiful woman of Belmont; and Shylock, a jewish money lender.

Other characters are: Gratiano, Bassanio’s friend; Nerissa, Portia’s servant; Jessica, Shylock’s doughter; Lorenzo, another Bassanio’s friend; Launcelot, Shylock’s servant and his father; and other minor characters.


In 14th century, in Venice, Bassanio – a young venetian gentleman – asks a loan of three thousand ducats to his friend Antonio, a wealthy merchant.

The money is needed to travel to Belmont and to woo Portia.

Portia is a rich and beautiful woman but she cannot marry whomever she wants, because of her father’s last wish.

According to this wish, she should marry the suitor who chooses the right box from among three boxes of gold, silver and lead.

Portia dislikes all her suitor except Bassanio.

However Antonio has invested all his money in his ships, so he can only offer his good name to get a loan from Shylock, a Jewish money lender.

Shylock hates Antonio because lends money to people without interests and publicly complains about Shylock (for his high interests).

Shylock lends the money but proposes a condition for the loan: if Antonio is unable to repay it at the specified date (within three mounths), he may take a pound of Antonio’s flesh.

Antonio signs the agreement, sure that his ships will return to port in time.


After receiving the loan Bassanio leaves for Belmont with his friend Gratiano.

Meanwhile in Belmont, Portia receives a visit from two suitors: the Prince of Marocco and the Prince of Arragon.

In accordance with the desire of his father, Portia can only marry one who will choose the right box, who makes the wrong choice shall leave the house and will not woo any woman. The right box contains a portrait of Portia.

On each box there is an inscription.

On the gold box is written: "Who choose me will get what many men desire."

On the silver box is written: "Who choose me will get as much as he deserves."

And on that lead is written: "Who choose me must give and hazard all he have".

The first suitor choose the golden box thinking that what all men desire is Portia.

Inside the golden box is a skull with a scroll: “All that glisters is not gold…”


The second suitor choose the silver box.

He thinks himself great and what he deserves is Portia.

Inside the box there is the picture of a blinking idiot.

Meaning that he was foolish to imagine that a pompous man like him could ever be a fit husband for Portia.

The last suitor is Bassanio, the only one who likes to Portia.

Bassanio is not fooled by appearances and chooses the humble and solid lead, he is also willing to risk everything to marry Portia.

Bassanio makes the right choice, and inside the box is the portrait of Portia.

Portia gives Bassanio a ring as symbol of their union and makes him swear that he won’t separate from it.

Graziano, Bassanio’s friend, and Nerissa, Portia’s servant, asks to be married on the same day.

During the marriage ceremony Bassanio receives the news that Antonio has lost his ships and Shylock demands a pound of Antonio's flesh as decided by agreement.

Bassanio and Gratiano travel to Venice with money to save Antonio’s life.

After they leave, Portia sends a servant to Padua to get from his cousin, who is lawyer, legal documents and clothes.

Then Portia and Nerissa leave for Venice disguised as a lawyer and his clerk.


Meanwhile in Venice, Launcelot, Shylock’s servant, decides to leave Shylock and work for Bassanio; while Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, elopes with Lorenzo, Bassanio’s friend, taking with her some of Shylock’s jewels, and become Christian.


In the court of the Duke of Venice, Shylock demands his pound of flesh from Antonio and refuses Bassanio’s offer of six thousand ducats.

Shylock wants to eliminate Antonio who hinders his business in Venice by lending money without interests. Also hates Christians, especially now that his daughter has eloped with one of them and became Christian.

The claim of Shylock is legal, and the Duke can’t cancel a valid contract but asked the advice of a lawyer, Bellario.

In place of Bellario arrive Portia, Bellario’s cousin, and Nerissa disguised as a lawyer (Baldassare) and his clerk.

Portia tries to convince Shylock to accept the money but after his refusal, she declares that he can take the pound of Antonio’s flesh.

However Portia reminds him that the agreement stipulates flesh but not blood; and if a single drop of Christian blood will be poured, all his possessions will be confiscate by the laws of Venice.

Moreover, he is guilty to attempt on the life of a Venetian, which means he will have to give half of his property to Antonio and the other half to the state; and his life will be in the hands of the Duke.

The Duke spares Shylock’s life and leaves him half of his property instead of a fine.

Antonio take the other half in use, to render it, upon Shylock death, to Lorenzo.

Moreover, Antonio asks that Shylock become a Christian and leaves everything he owns to Lorenzo and Nerissa, upon his death.


After the trial, Bassanio and Gratiano thank Portia, and offer her anything she wants.

Portia asks her husband for the ring she gave him, and Bassiano after many hesitation give her the ring.

Nerissa also gets the ring she gave Gratiano.

Portia and Nerissa return in Belmont and, soon after, Bassanio, Gratiano and Antonio arrive too.

Portia and Nerissa accuse their husbands because they gave away the rings (from which they had sworn not to part) before revealing they were the lawyer and his clerk in disguise.

At last came the news that three of Antonio’s ships are safe.



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