The Merchant of Venice
By Willaim Shakespeare

      "The plot involves a vengeful, greedy creditor, Shylock, a Jewish money-lender who seeks a literal pound of flesh from his Christian opposite, the generous, faithful Antonio.  Shakespeare's version of the chest-choosing device revolves around the play's Christian heroine, Portia, who steers her lover Bassanio toward the correct humble casket and then successfully defends his bosom friend Antonio from Shylock's horrid legal suit.  Shylock, is a Jew whose beloved daughter is lost to him when she elopes with a man who belongs to a virulently anti-Semitic society.  When grief, anger and vengeance overcome common sense he ends up literally forced to his knees to renounce his faith and his fortune."

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