The Merchant of Venice

Synopsis: Venice, 1596. Melancholy Antonio loves the youthful Bassanio, so when Bassanio asks for 3000 ducats, Antonio says yes before knowing it's to sue for the hand of Portia. His capital tied up in merchant ships at sea, Antonio must go to Shylock, a Jewish moneylender he reviles. Shylock wraps his grudge in kindness, offering a three-month loan at no interest, but if not repaid, Antonio will owe a pound of flesh. The Jew's daughter elopes with a Christian, whetting Shylock's hatred. While Bassanio's away wooing Portia, Antonio's ships founder, and Shylock demands his pound of flesh. With court assembled and a judgment due, Portia swings into action to save Bassanio's friend.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Michael Radford
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
131 min

(Water splashing)

(Men shouting)


(Men shouting)

(Man) Usurer!


(Man murmers)

"If a man is righteous,

and does what is lawful and right,

"if he has not exacted usury

nor taken any increase

"but has withdrawn his hand

from all iniquity

"and executed true judgment

between men and men,

"if he has walked in my statutes

"and kept my judgment faithfully,

then he is just and he shall surely live.

"But if he has exacted usury

and taken increase,

"shall he then live?

"No, he shall not live. If he has

done any of these abominations... "

- (Cheering)

- "... he shall surely die, says the Lord. "

(Preacher) And yet you live

by theft and robbery...


(Preacher continues, crowd shouting)

(Both laughing)



- (Man) Wind's coming back, sir.

- (Sail flapping)

(Man) Signior Lorenzo.

(Dog barking)


(Chanting continues)

(Doors opening)


(Antonio) In truth,

I know not why I am so sad.

It wearies me. You say it wearies you.

And such a want-wit sadness makes of me

that I have much ado than know myself.

Your mind is tossing on the ocean.

Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,

the better part of my affection

would be with my hopes abroad.

I should be still plucking the grass

to know where sits the wind,

peering in maps

for ports and piers and roads.

And every object that might make me fear

misfortune to my ventures

out of doubt would make me sad.

My wind, cooling my broth,

would blow me to a fever if I thought what

harm a wind too great might do at sea.

Believe me, no.

- Why, then you're in love.

- (Laughs)

Fie, fie, fie!

Not in love either?

Then let us say you are sad

because you are not merry.

Here comes my lord Bassanio.

- Good morrow, my good lord.

- Good signiors. When shall we laugh?

We shall make our leisures

to fit in with yours.

- Bassanio.

- Signior.


My lord Bassanio, since you have found

Antonio, we too will leave you.

You look not well, Signior Antonio.

You have too much respect

upon the world.

They lose it that do buy it with much care.

I hold the world but

as the world, Gratiano -

a stage where every man

must play his part, and mine a sad one.

Come, good Lorenzo.

Fare thee well awhile.

I'll end my exhortation after dinner.

Fare thee well.

Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing,

more than any man in all of Venice.


Tell me now...

that which today

you promised to tell me of.

(Bassanio sighs)

'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,

how much I have disabled mine estate,

but my chief care is to come

squarely out of the great debts

wherein my youth, something too prodigal,

has left me pledged.

To you, Antonio,

I owe the most in money and in love,

and from your love I have a warranty

to unburden all my plots and purposes

how to get clear of all the debts I owe.

Pray, good Bassanio, let me know it.

And, if it stand, as you yourself still do,

within the eye of honour,

be assured my purse, my person,

my extremest means

lie all unlocked to your occasion.

In Belmont is a lady richly left -

and she is fair, and fairer than that word -

of wondrous virtues.

Sometimes, from her eyes

I did receive fair...

speechless messages.

Her name is Portia, no less a beauty

than Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia.

Nor is the wide world

ignorant of her worth,

for the four winds blow in from every coast

renowned suitors.

O my Antonio,

had I but the means

to hold a rival place with one of them

then I should questionless be fortunate.

Thou knowest my fortunes are at sea.

Neither have I money nor commodity

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Michael Radford

Michael Radford (born 24 February 1946) is an English film director and screenwriter. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for the 1994 film Il Postino. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"The Merchant of Venice" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 18 Sep. 2020. <>.

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