William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Satisfactory Essays
William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

In Act 1 Scene 1 we are introduced to Antonio, Salerio, Solanio,

Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano.

Antonio is a wealthy businessman. He is a trader. He also gives people

loans but he does not charge them any interest. Salerio, Solanio,

Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano are all good friends of Antonio and of

each other. Lorenzo is in love with Jessica the daughter of Shylock.

Bassanio is also in love with Portia and wants to marry her.

In Act 1 Scene 1 Antonio is feeling unhappy, so his friends try to

cheer him up. He is feeling sad because he is worried about his ships

which have taken goods abroad. Salerio compares Antonio with his

ships. He tells Antonio “Your mind is tossing on the ocean, there

where your argosies with portly sail, like signors and rich burghers

on the flood, or as it were the pageants on the sea, do overpeer the

petty traffickers that curtsy to them, do them reverence, as they fly

by them with their woven wings.” He means to tell Antonio that just

like your ships are on the sea, it seems Antonio is like that. He says

that because Antonio is worried about his ships and his mind is

concentrating on the ships. Bassanio asks money from Antonio because

he wants to get married to Portia. He asks Antonio for money because

he has the problem of spending a lot of money and he is in debt.

Antonio says to Bassanio that he has not got the money and tells

Bassanio to go to Shylock and ask Shylock for money and he will pay

him back.

In Act 2 Scene 2 we are introduced to Portia and Nerissa.

Portia is the lady of Belmont. Her dad passed away and left her a

challenge which a man had to pass to marry her. Nerissa is Portia’s


In this scene the suitors of Portia Neapolitan prince, Country

Palatine, French Lord, Falconbridge, Scottish Lord, young German,

Bassanio, and The Prince of Morocco come and do the test.