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Shakespeare Play Reading

Hi All
Confirming our next 2 meeting dates:
Monday October 14
Monday November 18
Starting at 9.30am as usual

We return to comedy with  The Merchant Of Venice

Bassanio needs money to woo Portia, heiress of Belmont, so asks his friend
Antonio (merchant of Venice) for 3000 ducats. As all his money is tied up in ships, which are at sea, Antonio goes to the moneylender, Shylock(a Jew), who proposes that if the money is not repaid within 3 months, he may take a pound of Antonio’s flesh.
Portia has 3 suitors so they must choose from 3 caskets the one that contains her portrait.  2 suitors fail but Bassanio succeeds and prepares to wed Portia.  His friend, Gratiano and Nerissa (gentlewoman to Portia) also plan to marry.  Meanwhile, Shylock’s daughter Jessica elopes with Lorenzo taking rings and ducats with her. 
Shylock is furious about this and, on learning that Antonio’s ships have “miscarried” demands his due. There follows a trial where Portia , disguised as a young lawyer, begs mercy from Shylock who refuses and rejects all offers of money.  He is about to take his pound of flesh when Portia warns him that, according to the bond, he is not entitled to “one jot of blood”.
Baffled, he will take his 3000 ducats only to be told that as he conspired against a Venetian’s life, his own life is forfeit. However, he is pardoned and allowed half his fortune on the pledge he becomes a Christian and bequeaths the money to Lorenzo and Jessica on his death. 

Tidings then arrive that Antonio’s ships are safely come to port.

Contact: Steve Reynolds