Synopsis of Act 3 Scene 3 of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice Act 3 (Scene 3) Plot Summary with Word Meanings

The audience is taken back to Venice. We come to know about Antonio's miserable state. He has been allowed to leave jail for a short time. Shylock tells the jailer to guard Antonio closely. Antonio's mercy pleas have been completely ignored by Shylock. The Jew is very keen to avenge all the wrongs done to him. He repeatedly says, 'I'll have my bond!' He says that earlier Antonio had called him a dog without reason. Since he is considered a dog, Antonio will now have to face his fangs.

Shylock complains that Antonio is shown favoritism, as he is allowed to come out of the jail. He is not ready to listen to Christian pleaders. Antonio decides not to plead further. Solanio hopes for some mercy from the Duke. But the duke is also duty bound to follow the strict rules of Venice. Venice depends on the prosperity from the International trade which, in turn, depends on impartial treatment towards all. If the laws are violated and justice is denied, Venice will lose its credibility. It will surely affect its trade.

Antonio says that the worries and griefs of the past few days have made him lose weight that he doubts whether there will be enough flesh to be cut off the next day. He only prays that Bassanio come to see him discharge his debt; he wishes for nothing else.

Word - Meanings

fangs – teeth,
naughty - good for nothing,
abroad - outside the prison,
dulleyed - stupid,
relent - show pity,
intercessors - pleaders,
impenetrable cur - hard hearted dog,
kept with - lived among,
bootless – futile,
delivers - rescued,
forfeiture to hold - to be enforced,
commodity - rights,
strangers – foreigners,
impeach - questioned or accused,
bated - affected,
bloody - blood thirsty

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