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Story Overview Whenever Bassanio needed money he would go to his older friend Antonio a wealthy Venetian merchant Now Bassanio needed a sizable loan for a certain enterprise When questioned concerning this enterprise Bassanio admitted he had fallen in love with Portia a wealthy and famous lady Unless Bassanio had money he could never hope to compete with the myriad of rich noblemen and princes who vied for Portias favor Antonio would have gladly supplied his friend with the money but he had no cash on hand all of his capital was tied up in ships not due to return from foreign ports for several weeks So Antonio and Bassanio found their way to Shylock a rich Jewish moneylender who had made his fortune by charging exorbitant interest rates Though they despised Shylock the two managed to swallow their pride long enough to petition him to loan them three thousand ducats to be paid back as soon as Antonios ships returned to port Shylock bitterly rebuked them for having the temerity to come crawling to him for a loan after publicly disdaining him You call me a misbeliever cut-throat dog And spit upon my Jewish gabardine Well then it now appears you need help What shouId I say to you Should I not say Fair sir you spat on me on Wednesday last You spurned me such and such day another time You calld me dog and for these courtesies Ill lend you thus much moneys Finally though glowing and rubbing hi hands together as if he would get to the bone of his petitioners Shylock agreed to lend the money but on this condition if the full sum were not repaid within three months he could lawfully cut one pound of flesh from Antonios body Bassanio was shocked at the proposal but Antonio assured him there was
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