The Merchant Of Venice
In the fist act, Antonio is introduced as the Merchant of Venice. A friend of him, Bassanio, desperately needs money because all of his money is on his ships and he wants to go to Belmont to visit the woman of his dreams, Portia. Therefore he goes to Antonio to ask if he is willing to go to Shylock and ask him if he can have 3000 ducats. Antonio agrees and goes to Shylock and explains that he has to pay it back within 3 months. If he doesn't do this, he may cut one pound of his fair flesh...
In Belmont, the casket bond proceeds: with two already rejected, news comes that Bassanio is at Portia's gate. Meanwhile, Shylock is left bewailing the loss of his ducats and his daughter that has run away with Lorenzo and the treasure. Shylock doesn't like this at all because he really doens't like the Christians and Lorenzo is a Christian
Jessica is now together with Lorenzo. She is a Jew and he's a Christian. Jessica is embarrassed to be a Jew is planning to change religion for Lorenzo. Shylock is still looking for them and is very mad when he finds out that she has sold a ring, that was given to Shylock by his wife, for a monkey. Meanwhile Bassanio is picking one of the caskets and takes the correct one; the leaden casket. He may now marry Portia. Because Antonio hasn't paid back the 3000 ducats he had lend from Shylock, Shylock may have one pound of his fair flesh. Shylock takes it to court...
Still in the court of law, Portia and Nerissa have disguised themselves as doctor and clerk. Shylock wants his revenge on the Christians because they treat him like a dog and spit on him. He wants his bond and the one pound of the flesh of Antonio. Portia very smartly knows how to trick him by saying that it doesn't say in the bond that any blood can be spilt and that he has to take exactly one pound of the flesh. No more and no less. Shylock has to give up because he can't deny this. Antonio is safe! Bassanio has given the ring that he had got from Portia to the doctor and Gratiano has given the ring that he had got from Nerissa to the clerk... They had said to their women that they would never give the rings away.
Jessica and Lorenzo are romantically together and they are telling each other all these romantic things how much they love each other accompanied by music. Then Portia, Nerissa, Bassanio, Antonio and Gratiano come by. Nerissa and Gratiano start having a fight about the ring that he had given to the clerk (Nerissa was the clerk). The same is for Portia and Bassanio who says he had lost the ring but later says he had given it to the doctor (who was Portia). Then the two women explain that they were the doctor and the clerk and so everything had a happy ending...
Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/coursework/the-merchant-of-venice.php