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                                               Merchant of Venice

        Antonio is a merchant in Venice. Knowing that his friend, Bassanio is in love with Portia of Belmonte, he decides to give him 3.000 ducats so they could marry. The problem is that Antonio's money is frozen in assets and dependent on the safe return of his ships from the sea. He decides to borrow the money from Shylock, a Jewish usurer. Truth is, that they both share a history as Antonio had previously insulted Shylock for his high interest. According to the deal they make, Antonio will be bound to offer a pound of his flesh to Shylock. 

        At the same time, Portia's father decides that candidates to her hand will have to play a game and choose the appropriate chest (gold, silver or lead). Both the princes of Morocco and Aragon fail, but then, Bassanio wins by choosing the lead one. Antonio gets news that his ships are lost and so he will not be able to pay off Shylock who demands the promised pound of flesh and brings the matter to the court of law. Disguised as a young lawyer, Portia represents Antonio in the struggle and states that even though the usurer has rights to Antonio's pound of flesh he's not entitled to spill his blood; what is more the Jew is said to be guilty of conspiring against the life of a Venetian citizen which is punishable by death.

        Finally, Shylock is forced to give half of his wealth to Antonio and half to the state or else he would be confined. Antonio says that he will renounce the money if only Shylock converts to Christianity and leaves his property to his daughter Jessica, who had previously run away with her christian lover - Lorenzo. At the end, there is also good news about Antonio's ships - they are coming home. 
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