Merchant of Venice Summary Act III
Shylock is furious. He wants nothing to do with the likes of Antonio or Bassanio; neither does he want his money returned. All he wants is his pound of flesh. For Shylock the conflict of egos between the merchant and him is now out in the open with this daughter’s betrayal serving as a catalyst to vent his anger against Antonio.
Meanwhile Bassanio arrives at Belmont to try his hand at the caskets. All three caskets bear the symbolism of life’s realities inscribed with popular metaphors such as the gold casket which gave birth to the popular quote “all that glitters is not gold”. Bassanio chooses the lead one bearing the inscription ‘he who chooses me must give and hazard all he hath”.
Portia on the other hand hopes Bassanio will stay awhile for she fears she may never see him again in event of a wrong choice. Gratiano falls in love with Nerissa, Portia’s lady in waiting. When Bassanio chooses correctly, a double wedding is planned. In the midst of revelry there is bad news when Antonio learns that his ships have disappeared and he does not have the means to repay his debt to Shylock. With Portia’s help Antonio pleads to shylock to let him repay the money but Shylock will have none of it, instead he wants his pound of flesh and Antonio’s eventual death.
Portia and Nerissa touched by how much Bassanio worries for his friend Antonio, embarks upon a journey of their own in the disguise of lawyers. They hatch a secret plan in a last bid attempt to save Antonio