|Merchant of Venice Overview
In The Merchant of Venice, Antonio is the merchant, and complains to his friends about how depressed he is and he cannot explain why. His friend Bassanio is in desperate need of money to court Portia, wealthy women of Belmont, so Bassanio asks Antonio for a loan. However, Antonio cannot give Bassanio the loan because he has just invested all of his money into a number of ships that are still at sea. Antonio advises Bassanio to go and meet with Shylock, a Jew who is a moneylender. Bassanio takes Antonio’s advice and the both of them go to meet with him. When Bassanio and Antonio meet with Shylock, Shylock has nothing but a long-term grudge against Antonio, who had made a habit of talking about him and the way he ran his business. But, Shylock decides to give Bassanio three thousand ducats with an exception that should the loan go unpaid, he will be entitled to a pound of Antonio’s flesh. Antonio agrees, and Shylock gives Bassanio the loan.