• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare Summary for Act 1 Scene 1

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare Summary for Act 1 Scene 1 Opens with Antonio, a wealthy merchant of Venice, discussing his sadness with Salerio and Solanio. The two friends try to guess at his unhappiness, but they can't. Bassanio enters with Lorenzo and Gratiano. All of the characters in this scene are Christians. Bassanio speaks with Antonio privately. Antonio's first question to Bassanio is about a woman Bassanio had mentioned at some prior meeting. Antonio trusts Bassanio, using this trust Bassanio tells Antonio that his intentions are to try and win a woman who has been left riches from her father in Belmont (Portia). ...read more.

Middle

Summary for Act 1 scene 2 Here we are introduced to Portia and her waiting-woman, Nerissa. The are discussing the terms of her father's will which state that the decision of whom she shall marry will be based on a riddle. Three boxes, one gold, one silver, one lead, and each with a meaning have been set up for each suitor to choose from. He who guesses right marries Portia. Portia reflects upon the unfairness of this, but Nerissa assures her that only a man worthy of her will solve the riddle. She points out the problems with all of the suitors so far and then Nerissa mentions Bassanio, whom they have met at some prior time and Portia remembers his as, "worthy of praise." ...read more.

Conclusion

When Shylock confronts Antonio about his mistreatment of him in the past, Antonio says he will continue to disrespect Shylock. It is Antonio's belief that the money is better lent to an enemy than a friend. The final agreement is at Shylock's suggestion; the forfeiture if the loan is not repaid within three months will be one pound of Antonio's flesh, taken by Shylock. Antonio agrees to this freely, expecting over three times the sum he owes to return with his ships within two months. Antonio's final comment is that the Hebrew will turn Christian, suggesting that his "kindness" was a Christian attribute. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Merchant of Venice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Merchant of Venice essays

  1. Merchant of Venice Act 1 Scene 2 - Describe Portia's Suitors, and discuss her ...

    The second suitor was the County Palatine or German Prince. The first thing that Portia says about him is "He doth nothing but frown" According to Portia he is miserable and finds nothing to his amusement, or anything that makes him happy let alone smile.

  2. The Merchant of Venice- Act IV Scene I - Summary

    Justice without mercy therefore becomes tyranny because in goes against God's nature. She reminds Shylock at the end of this speech that no one deserves salvation and therefore would never receive it without God's mercy. Because we expect to receive mercy we should demonstrate t to others.

  1. Merchant of Venice- Scene by Scene summary & analysis

    Shylock tells him that, "I would be friends with you, and have your love" (1.3.133). He offers to seal the bond, "in a merry sport" (1.3.141) without charging interest, but as collateral for the loan demands a pound of Antonio's flesh.

  2. Antonio is the merchant of Venice, he’s waiting for his boats to arrive home, ...

    He illustrates or shows his love or friendship by agreeing to lend Bassanio money; he actually disrupts his own deep relationship with Bassanio, "Antonio: Where money is, and I no question make to have it of my trust, before my sake."

  1. Direct Act 4 Scene 1 of Shakespeare's - 'The Merchant of Venice'

    am armed To suffer with a quietness of spirit The very tyranny and rage of his." This is from Antonio's speech on lines 10-13 of the scene. It shows Antonio's way of being patient and kind to try to slow Shylocks rage to mercy.

  2. How does Shakespeare portray character and relationships in Act 1 Scene 3 of 'The ...

    This is evidence of Shakespeare's use of language and style to portray characters. Classical references such a this and the comparison of Portia to the wife of Brutus (Caesar's friend, assassin and 'the noblest Roman of them all') would have been understood by educated members of Shakespeare's audience and establish that Bassanio is himself an educated man.

  1. Analysis of Act IV scene 1, in three different versions of The Merchant Of ...

    he is described as "a stony adversary, an inhuman wretch, incapable of pity, void and empty from any dram of mercy". Antonio describes Shylock's spirit as being full of "tyranny and rage". When Shylock enters into the scene the Duke challenges him saying "The world thinks, and I think so

  2. The Merchant of Venice - Analysis of Act 1 Scene 3

    Bassanio warns Antonio against entering such an agreement, but Antonio assures him that he will have no trouble repaying the debt, as his ships will soon bring him wealth that far exceeds the value of the loan. Shylock attempts to dismiss Bassanio's suspicions, asking what profit he stands to make by procuring a pound of Antonio's flesh.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work