Act 3, Scene 3 Notes from Merchant of Venice

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Merchant of Venice Act 3, Scene 3

The scene opens on a Venice street. Shylock, Salarino, Antonio and a Jailer. Shylock orders the Jailer to take Antonio into custody. Antonio begs Shylock to let him speak. Shylock rails against him, angry for every insult, sure that the Duke will give him justice. Antonio begs to be listened to. Shylock not only refuses to listen, but assures Antonio that after the debt has been collected, he'll never have to listen to Antonio again. He leaves, announcing that he will let nothing dissuade him and no one intervene.

Salarino is disgusted with Shylock's behavior. Antonio admits that he knows full well why Shylock is so angry - on many occasions, he'd given money to people in debt just before Shylock could foreclose on them. Even worse, Antonio can't count on the Duke to intercede on his behalf. The Duke's first duty is to maintaining law and order in the city. Antonio hopes Bassanio makes it back in time to see him suffer for Bassanio's sake.

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