Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice
1. a comedy (c. 1596) by Shakespeare
2. Antonio, the merchant of the play who borrows money from SHYLOCK

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a play by Shakespeare, thought to have been written in 1596. It is about a merchant, Antonio, who borrows money from a Jew called Shylock to help Bassanio marry Portia. According to their agreement, if Antonio fails to pay the money back, Shylock can claim a pound of Antonio’s flesh. When Antonio is unable to pay the money back, Shylock demands that Antonio keeps to the agreement. However, he is defeated in a court case by Portia, disguised as a lawyer, who makes a powerful speech, wins the case and saves Antonio’s life. The play is the origin of the expression to demand, want, etc. your pound of flesh, meaning to want or insist on getting what you have a legal right to, even when it is morally offensive to do so.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Merchant of Venice — The 1. a comedy (c. 1596) by Shakespeare 2. Antonio, the merchant of the play who borrows money from SHYLOCK …   English World dictionary

  • Merchant of Venice — Merchant of Ve|nice, The a play by William Shakespeare about a man called Antonio who borrows money from ↑Shylock. When Antonio cannot pay back the money, Shylock demands the right to cut out a pound of flesh from Antonio s body. A famous speech… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Merchant of Venice, The — a comedy (1596?) by Shakespeare. * * * ▪ work by Shakespeare       comedy in five acts by William Shakespeare (Shakespeare, William), written about 1596–97 and printed in a quarto edition in 1600 from an authorial manuscript or copy of one.… …   Universalium

  • Merchant of Venice, The — a comedy (1596?) by Shakespeare …   Useful english dictionary

  • The Merchant of Venice — This article is about Shakespeare s play. For other uses, see The Merchant of Venice (disambiguation). The Merchant of Venice Title page of the first quarto of Merchant of Venice (1600) …   Wikipedia

  • Antonio (Merchant of Venice) — Antonio is the title character in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. He is a middle aged bachelor and merchant by trade who has his financial interests tied up in overseas shipments when the play begins. He is loved and revered by all the… …   Wikipedia

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  • The Merchant of Venice — Le Marchand de Venise Le Marchand de Venise Couverture de la première édition in quarto (1600) Auteur William Shakespeare Genre Tragi comédie Pays d origi …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Portia (Merchant of Venice) — Portia is the heroine of William Shakespeare s The Merchant of Venice . A rich, beautiful, very intelligent heiress, she is bound by the lottery set forth in her father s will, which gives potential suitors the chance to choose between three… …   Wikipedia

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