The Merchant of Venice II- Act 2

 

SCENE 1

 

(A street in Venice)

Enter Shylock, Salerio and Solanio

 

SALERIO

Behold the new Christian,

Walks the streets of Venice wearing his old Jewish clothes.

SOLANIO

Easy Salerio, the new Christian has no money.

(To Shylock) If thou want some ducats as a small loan

I will give thee;

On the condition of cutting thy right hand when receiving the money,

Then cutting thy left leg when thou give it back.

SALERIO

No worries old Shylock,

We will not make thee pay more than thou have received.

SHYLOCK

I thank thee both for that pure kindness,

Yet my leg and my hand are dearer to me than thy ducats.

This garment thou dislike Salerio has a place in my heart,

I tell thee what,

Collect all thine jewels,

Sell them,

And for the money thou would get,

I will give thee its sleeve.

SOLANIO

I have never seen such a haughty Jew.

If that is how thy attitude is going to be,

Let my spits and kicks remind thee of thy past.

SALERIO

Fly home if thou have one,

Or this is thy end.

SHYLOCK

On the hands of losers my end will never be.

Spurn me like a dog, spit on me;

I will take the humiliation with open arms,

Then I will deliver it to the court of justice.

Have thou forgotten Solanio? I am a new Christian.

Christians are likely to be given their rights.

Enter Antonio

SALERIO

Hie Antonio!

Thou have come.

ANTONIO

How now?

SOLANIO

Tell him Antonio that he is a clodpole, coward, loser,

Talk to him not, or rather kick him,

Punch him, spit on his beard or better

Pluck it out for him.

ANTONIO

Hold thy horses dear friend.

SHYLOCK

He is too nice not to.

SALERIO

Stop taunting us filthy pig!

ANTONIO

Salerio!

SHYLOCK

Great temper for a small body and a soft cheek.

ANTONIO

Shylock!

SHYLOCK

Yes.

ANTONIO

How say you by closing your mouth

SHYLOCK

Behave me not Antonio,

Shylock is neither thy child nor thy servant.

SOLANIO

Right, thou art our slave, peevish old corpse.

ANTONIO

Fie on thee, all of thee.

Shut forthwith,

Thou are willing to have a fight?

Draw thy swords then.

Thou are willing to solve this nonsense,

I am more than willing to be the judge.

SHYLOCK

I am a poor humble Christian

Who had been and still have been attacked

Because of his past.

ANTONIO

Thy past is thine.

It is part of thy life,

Accept it as a fact.

SHYLOCK

Unless I am ashamed of it.

SOLANIO

Words of poison are unleashed from a yellow snake,

And they are aimed at us, mainly Antonio.

First, the poison blinds thee,

Then the snake dances around thy blind body happily.

He chooses the moment he likes, and then he bites thee.

SHYLOCK

Mark it; I am a Christian like the three of you.

SALERIO

Thou will never be like us.

ANTONIO

Enough, not a word more.

My friends do not respect my presence,

How then an old enemy will?

SHYLOCK

Well spoken signior Antonio.

I am truly thy old enemy.

ANTONIO

For that and for thy new life I treat thee this way.

SALERIO

I am leaving thee to the unworthy.

Today our meeting was a coincidence friend,

And what follows was not expected either.

Thus I will expect from Antonio and his star the unexpected,

Which I do not like.

I will go to pray for thee and our old friendship.

SOLANIO

I am going as well, but to mind my business.

My mind is awake and encourages me to calculate

Everything and every step I might take.

That is what thou have taught me Antonio,

But lately, ’tis obvious that thou have forgotten that lesson.

ANTONIO

No need to remind me that Solanio.

Dear friends, I know which path to walk.

What happened before was not me losing my way,

I devoted myself to a dear friend,

If I knew the future back then, I would have done it

Once more without a gesture of hesitation.

SOLANIO

Prithee, be careful.

ANTONIO

I warrant thee I will.

SOLANIO

I hope.

Exits Solanio and Salerio

 

ANTONIO

How the days treat thee Shylock?

SHYLOCK

Exactly as they treat thee Signior Antonio.

Like thee I have neither a wife nor a daughter.

Like thee I have some faithful friends.

Like thee, I am a Christian and saved from damnation

By the blood and flesh of Jesus Christ.

ANTONIO

Thou have not got the victory thou have dreamed about.

The pound of flesh is still close to mine heart,

And the challenge that Shylock have undertook,

Slapped back at his face and spurned his legs of the ground.

SHYLOCK

A man is not a man unless he does mistakes.

Adam started it, and the system is set by God.

That is why our saviour did what he had to do,

And that is why we have to repent.

ANTONIO

Christianity seems to overrule thee.

SHYLOCK

Christians are kind, and I am a Christian.

Jews are not and I am no longer a Jew.

ANTONIO

Well-spoken Shylock.

Tell me, how dost thou think of thy future?

SHYLOCK

I know pretty well how to deal with money.

So I think I might be a new member in the Rialto.

ANTONIO

A merchant?! A bold thought I have to say.

Among us?

SHYLOCK

I am already one of thee.

ANTONIO

Yes, I know, but, are thee sure about that?

I mean, that this life will be suitable for thee?

Last time thou were not very good with money or contracts.

SHYLOCK

I have told thee it was a normal mistake,

And my life before I no longer care for.

I am starting a new one.

ANTONIO

As long as thou are convinced,

And will not waste thy honour again.

SHYLOCK

My honour!

Antonio, why do not we start a new bond?

A new wager, how about that?

ANTONIO

I smell the odor of old events coming back,

Why should I trust thee again, unless I suffer from amnesia?

SHYLOCK

Why, look you, how you storm!

I would be friends with you, and have your love.

ANTONIO

What is that you want?

SHYLOCK

In a few months, if I did not start a new life,

Get my Jessica in my arms again,

Get my ducats back, and most important,

Get my honour back,

Then Antonio has the right after my death

To stain me with shame

By disposing my body in Jewish tombs.

ANTONIO

And if thou did and I lost?

SHYLOCK

Then Shylock would have the right to

Bury Antonio’s body in a Christian tomb,

But only when I am free to do it.

I do not want to bury thee on a hurry,

Thou shall receive every sacred mass upon thy body.

ANTONIO

A notary would laugh at this kind of contract.

I would be happy if thou get all that back,

It is the idea of it being hard to happen.

Truly Shylock, Why are thou doing that?

SHYLOCK

Consider it a new bond of friendship between us both,

Or consider it a motivation for me to start a new life.

ANTONIO

Right, I agree.

I will meet thee at the notary after two hours.

I must make haste now, a merchant work is waiting.

Thou can see how it is hard to be a merchant,

But I believe thou will understand soon how ’tis like.

SHYLOCK

Make haste then, I do not want to keep you.

ANTONIO

Ay, and do not forget, at the notary tonight.

Exit Antonio

 

SHYLOCK

Sure, how could I forget!

Foolish Antonio! His arrogance overruled his intelligence.

It had always blinded him and made him fall in my fist twice.

But this time, my fingers will crash him.

He is too arrogant to see that the wager is mine in both cases.

He does not see that I will not start a new life,

I am just willing to recycle it.

Shame on thee Antonio,

Thy foolishness makes my heart goes out to you.

Exit Shylock

 

SCENE 2

 

(A room in the palace of Belmont)

Enter Portia and Nerissa

 

NERISSA

No weary days yet to come.

PORTIA

Cheerful and optimistic as always thou art. I love such characteristics in thee.

NERISSA

My life had always been and still a beautiful play, why should not I possess such characteristics. And you my lady, why should not you possess them like me.

PORTIA

Dear Nerissa, I am not very much interested in imitating or following steps.

NERISSA

So, thou decide to be unique on the expense of thy happiness. That is a perplexed way of living I have to say.

PORTIA

Praise thee my dear friend. My life would have never been bearable if thou were not by my side.

NERISSA

And now I have to rest while there is a new heart would carry my lady inside.

PORTIA

Not only me, thou have a lover too.

NERISSA

Marriage is such a classy act.

PORTIA

Yes, that is what it is. I want to ask thee a serious question.

NERISSA

Of course my lady.

PORTIA

Do you still admire Gratiano like before? Do you think he is faithful and still in love with thee?

NERISSA

How about thee?

PORTIA

If this is thy answer, then you know how I feel, and what I meant by my questions as well. Sometimes, it feels like Bassanio is my husband only. I will not deny that I felt for him before, and will not deny that I married him to get rid of my father curbs, to be free and to reach a higher state.

NERISSA

Thou used him. I do not blame a lady like thee in that society.

PORTIA

Right? In this society a married woman is highly estimated than an unmarried one. And you Nerissa, did not thou do the same?

NERISSA

Somehow yes, but I love Gratiano.

PORTIA

My heart is Bassanio’s too.

NERISSA

O Portia, why are those confessions?

PORTIA

Because I feel Bassanio used me as much as I used him. Gratiano used thee and maybe Lorenzo and Jessica married for such mutual benefits.

NERISSA

That last opinion I believe in very much.

PORTIA

Thy joyful day turned unclear by my talk.

Enter Jessica

 

JESSICA

May I join thy pleasant meeting?

PORTIA

Without asking for it dear Jessica

I believe thou are very much one of us, true?

JESSICA

True!

NERISSA

Where is thy Lorenzo Nerissa?

Gone for thee or from thee?

JESSICA

Can any of our men turn away from us?

NERISSA

I do not believe they could.

O dear Jessica,

Thy presence yields the place a merry spirit,

Because of thy friendly soul.

We are blessed by our union and that’s our merit,

To achieve our main goal.

JESSICA

Our goal? What is our goal?

NERISSA

To live happily ever after I believe.

JESSICA

And that is what we are doing.

PORTIA

Do you think that our status would last forever, Nerissa?

If thy answer is yes, let me tell thee clearly;

Thou are very much mistaken.

To live happily ever after, I will tell thee a secret.

Seek perfection by trying to be the strongest.

Seek a life with no restrictions.

NERISSA

Join the strongest to be the strongest.

The moment thou feel them weakening, leave them,

And at once join those who are stronger.

JESSICA

What is that all about?

PORTIA

Do thou really love thy husband?

JESSICA

I love him truly.

My heart wonders every now and then how to express it,

Do I ran into his arms when I see him

And hide my face in his chest?

Do I write him an ornamented letter,

Using my tears and blood as ink?

Do I wake him up every morning with the word ‘I love thee’?

Do I whisper in his beautiful ears

The countless times I wished for his presence next to me?

Do I howl that I wanted him as a husband

Even if he does not requite my love for him?

NERISSA

We do not deny that thou love him intensely,

I am sure that thou dost.

We adore our husbands too.

The question which is needed to be asked,

Was love the only reason that the three of us married for?

PORTIA

Well Jessica,

Be confident that thy talk will never reach other ears,

Only ours.

Thou do not have to keep thy cards very tight to thy chest.

My marriage guaranteed me many advantages,

So as thine.

JESSICA

No doubt about it.

Thy words are pretty much true.

‘Tis not a secret to hide,

And I am not ashamed to say it.

PORTIA

Good!

Now, if thou are to choose between freedom and Lorenzo;

If thou are to choose between money and marriage,

What would thou choose?

A weak and a poor Jew or a powerful wealthy Christian?

What if Lorenzo was a poor Jew,

And thou cannot get money for both of thee?

JESSICA

My choice has already been made.

If thou art like me, then we are not three but one.

Both thy husbands are pretty much alike,

I do not need to remind thee of how they forsook thy rings.

My Lorenzo, well, I do not know;

He is faithful up till now.

Guilt might have opened thy hearts to speak,

But I do not believe that the aim was to relief thyself.

Which higher place do thou want to reach?

NERISSA

My lady leads and I follow.

PORTIA

If thou have a suggestion Jessica,

Feel free to say it out loud.

JESSICA

My father, Shylock.

NERISSA

Again?!

PORTIA

What’s with him?

JESSICA

Thou have got rid of thy father’s orders;

The leadership of thy life is now in thy hands.

Bassanio is satisfied of his place next to thee;

Still, he lived as a pampered child all his life,

What he wants, he gets as, simple as that.

He acquires a high rank and power as thy husband,

Only in front of the eyes of society.

PORTIA

Carry on.

JESSICA

The true leader is thee,

As thou do with thy life whatever thou want.

Thou live free and want to die like that.

What if Bassanio wants to be the true leader?

He married thee, something he dreamed about;

How about another dream?

How about another woman?

The society will not wrong him,

And if thou weakened, it is thy end for sure.

PORTIA

Elaborate more.

JESSICA

Thy father laws are gone now.

If thou had tried to break them

The society would have never let thee be.

So, it is better not to have more laws applied on thee.

Break up with Bassanio,

And try to make it his fault; sure thou can make it be.

PORTIA

Then Shylock has nothing to do with all of that.

JESSICA

The queen has the capability to extinguish Bassanio’s fire,

But Bassanio himself will be there to start another one.

To banish him out of thy life, aim at Antonio.

NERISSA

Antonio? Why?!

JESSICA

Antonio is the army that guards Bassanio.

He is Bassanio’s attack and defense;

Consider him the ultimate support.

PORTIA

And thy father would be able to defeat Antonio?

He lost the last battle with him.

JESSICA

If thou have not interfered,

Shylock would have a pound of flesh to feed the rats.

PORTIA

That makes thee my enemy as well.

Thou are seeking revenge of course.

JESSICA

If thou have not interfered,

I would have been locked in my house;

I would have been with no money, and with no friends.

Even Launcelot would have gone as well.

I would have been the Jewish girl;

The daughter of the cruel usurer.

PORTIA

Thy words now make sense.

NERISSA

If Bassanio leaves, Gratiano must be away as well.

And if thou unite with Shylock once more,

Lorenzo cannot be in the equation as thy husband.

JESSICA

Perfectly true.

NERISSA

Talking is different from doing.

Shylock, I think, can not defy them now.

PORTIA

Unless we help him,

JESSICA

Perfectly right.

PORTIA

I accept to help him, but bear in mind;

If Shylock wanted after that to challenge my intelligence

I will finish him for good.

I won against him before and believe me,

I can win all the battles coming ahead.

JESSICA

Of course, and ’twill not be an advantage for me if my father did so.

PORTIA

Send Launcelot to bring Shylock in here tomorrow.

Make sure that no one knows about that;

Not even old Gobbo.

NERISSA

Launcelot’s father is dead.

PORTIA

Then that is not a chance for him to know,

Make sure he is buried well Jessica.

JESSICA

Yes my queen.

And Launcelot will be on his way now to my father.

Or better let my father comes to Old Gobbo’s funeral.

Shylock will then appear as a good Christian,

And there will be no suspicious eyes looking at him

When he talks to Portia and when Portia talks to him.

PORTIA

Good plan Jessica!

The burial is in Venice, tomorrow at noon.

Gather as much as thou can to attend.

Best way to hide what is precious is to let it exposed.

JESSICA

Wise words my queen.

I take my leave to do as planned.

Exit Jessica

NERISSA

What dost thou think? Should we trust her?

PORTIA

Neither Jessica nor her father can do anything without my help. So, trust me. I am trusting my mind like I have always done, and it have never failed me.

 

SCENE 3

 

(A street in Venice)

Enter Launcelot

 

LAUNCELOT

Old Shylock, it was hard to find thee outside thy home and among those Christians.

SHYLOCK

Truly I am getting their colours and looks;

Names do affect the essence of what they refer to.

LAUNCELOT

No surprise on thy face I can see. Did thou become a wizard? Or did thou acquire the nose of a dog to hear me coming?

SHYLOCK

Let’s say that a well organized mind,

Could see clearly what is coming ahead.

LAUNCELOT

Thou are not even frowning, why; either my heart deceives me or the old Jew is gone. Long live then the new Shylock, and I hope what I am asking thee to attend will not be applied to thee except very lately.

SHYLOCK

An invitation then? From which master of thine?

I supposed that thou would never come for the sake

Of the old days; which happens to be true.

Then upon what occasion?

LAUNCELOT

Alas! I have never realized how bad thou are in choosing words. But if thou would accept it as an invitation then it is one. Our queen invites thee to attend a very remarkable occasion, which is my father’s funeral. You were my old master, and perhaps you would feel a little bit of grief when you hear the news of Gobbo’s death.

SHYLOCK

It did not grief my heart when thou left,

And thou jokes have never cheered up my spirit.

Only when thou left I realized how hungry thou are,

Not as hungry as me; much way further.

Thy father I have never met,

Why then should my face frown for his death?

Just for the sake of thy queen I am attending.

Return to whoever sent thee and tell them

That my figure would appear as sad as they have never seen before.

LAUNCELOT

Such devotion for people’s eyes. What is it truly for?! Thank thee if only thy appearance would honour my father’s death; not as much honour as my heart would accept. ‘Tis tomorrow then at noon. Any other information thou want to know about the event?

SHYLOCK

Neither about the event nor about anything else.

LAUNCELOT

Till tomorrow then. By the way, Jessica is just fine, and living a wonderful life.

SHYLOCK

I am sure she is more than fantastic.

Exit Launcelot

The plan is progressing beautifully.

Enter Tubal

How now my dear friend,

Why your face tells me that thou are worried?

TUBAL

Shylock, I have heard something about thee.

I hope for the sake of God ’tis not true.

SHYLOCK

What have thou heard?

TUBAL

Is it true that thou have signed a wager with Antonio?

Is it true that thou made it official at the notary?

SHYLOCK

‘Tis very true like the shame follows me.

TUBAL

I have warned thee before;

I just have never thought that thou would come that further.

This is a dangerous ground thou are stepping upon.

My friend, I have been thy friend since a time I cannot tell,

And this makes me know how thou think.

SHYLOCK

The game this time is safe,

And I am not solo; I have a team.

TUBAL

For a some of ducats the notary showed me the contract.

‘Tis a bribe and I hope God forgive me for it,

But the contract astonished me.

I understood what thou art up to.

My friend thou are going to lose again.

SHYLOCK

Hush! Thy words frustrates me,

Support me and do not criticize my intelligence.

Yesterday I was fighting alone,

This time I have behind me an army.

Believe me, it is not consisted of normal soldiers;

They are mighty and powerful.

I know pretty well how they fight and I have learned their style.

As long they are with me the enemy is of no defense,

Because the defense and the attack that could have killed me

Is now mine, and would be till I am the victorious.

TUBAL

Thy words made me more worried than relieved.

Well, I will be at thy call whenever you needed me.

I cannot take a step behind when thou ask for my help;

I have never done it and I will not do it now,

Though I know it is a very dangerous step that I might take.

So, if thou please Shylock do not ask for my help,

Because then thou are calling for our doom

And I will never be able to refuse thy request.

SHYLOCK

How honest thou are! And I respect this in thee.

Tubal, thou will always and forever be my dearest friend.

Thy demand is accepted.

I would have never endanger thee,

Myself not thee.

Enjoy thy life to the full;

Perhaps one day I will be joining thee

Not thou joining me.

 

Exeunt

 

SCENE 4

(At a cemetery)

Portia, Nerissa and Jessica are standing in front of Bassanio, Gratiano and Lorenzo; all at the right of the stage.

Launcelot in the middle next to a priest.

Shylock stands alone on the left.

 

THE PRIEST

On the behalf of the angels I dare to say;

The body of his to the earth belongs,

While his soul is set free to the unlimited.

The pure soul of Gobbo around us revolves,

Cleans our world from the sins prohibited.

His soul destination is what is beyond and above;

Leaving the cruel life of ours behind,

To be treated fairly by God’s mercy and love.

Suffering is no more, nothing of that kind.

The sights in front of him now is clear and white,

Shiny and wonderful; the land of peace and rest,

Justly governed and distributed by God’s might.

I prithee God, Let his place among other ones be the best.

Let his infinite days be in Your bless

Contemplating thy beautiful face.

Let him forget about the worldly mess

And the sinful ones among our race.

Let his luxurious life in Your presence pour down upon our heads,

To make us immigrate to Your destination just like lovely birds.

LAUNCELOT

The priest’s words are more than beautiful and explicable. I am sure that my father claps in his coffin for thy expressions and intonation. I want to sit next to the grave listening to my father’s silence.

THE PRIEST

Thy father will be more than happy

Seeing his son by his side.

Allow me to leave.

Exit the Priest

BASSANIO

What brought the devil to that spiritual gathering?

Would not someone tell him that he is not welcomed?

LORENZO

He is a Christian now, exactly like us.

Between him and Launcelot days they spent together.

Launcelot himself asked him to attend.

GRATIANO

He will never be like us.

Not a piece of my body feels good towards him.

LORENZO

This can never be a good time for losing temper Gratiano.

Thy inner beast must wait now and respect the funeral.

BASSANIO

I cannot stand it.

I am really astonished that Gratiano is still next to me;

Standing without raising his voice by cursing that monster.

LORENZO

What do thou want us to do then?

BASSANIO

Tush, I am leaving.

(To Launcelot) I am leaving Launcelot.

Be sure that I will be seeing thee tonight.

(To Portia) Love, are not thou willing to come?

PORTIA

Standing here silently makes me think about my life,

My decisions and my sins.

Allow me dear husband to stay a little longer.

I want to purify my soul.

GRATIANO

Do thou want to stay love?

NERISSA

I cannot part my queen in such a situation.

JESSICA

Dear husband I am coming with thee.

My shoulders carry enough already;

I do not think I want to live more dreary experiences.

LORENZO

Why, to the palace then love.

 

Exit Bassanio, Gratiano, Lorenzo and Jessica

PORTIA

Launcelot.

LAUNCELOT

Yes my queen!

PORTIA

This bag of ducats is thine, keep it.

Be concerned more with it and thy father’s tomb

Rather than what we are going to talk about.

LAUNCELOT

Should I leave my queen?

PORTIA

Stay, thy steps would be following ours.

LAUNCELOT

Of course my queen.

PORTIA

How now, Shylock?

SHYLOCK

Supposedly Jessica has told thee what I have in mind.

Just in case, to avoid confusion, I will say it myself.

I want to regain my honour and my power.

NERISSA

Thy religion? Does not it matter thee?

SHYLOCK

My religion is inside my heart;

A statement or a paper of laws is not capable

Of altering what is in a man’s heart,

Only God does.

PORTIA

Mark it very well,

If we become allies, we cannot backstab each other.

SHYLOCK

Obvious!

PORTIA

Impart me what thou have in mind.

SHYLOCK

Every level at a time.

For now I need three thousand ducats.

PORTIA

Thy three thousand ducats?

SHYLOCK

I need three thousand ducats to buy some merchandise.

This plan will start while me an honest successful merchant.

This large amount of money would guarantee me success,

By that I will walk my new path.

PORTIA

How would this help me?

SHYLOCK

I will buy and sell the same kind Antonio buys and sells.

In the Rialto Antonio would surpass me by his reputation,

But I will occupy the market using cheap prices.

Man is hungry by nature,

And would run for the cheapest,

Even if the name Shylock is the label.

PORITA

That justifies this request.

Perhaps thou will need more money after that,

If money is needed do not hesitate to ask me.

The money will reach thy house tomorrow morning.

SHYLOCK

Fine, our connection will not be stable

Because my plan might change at any moment.

PORTIA

Fine, make haste now.

SHYLOCK

Yes.

Exit Shylock

PORTIA

We are going now.

Come Launcelot, be strong.

Exeunt

Advertisements

What do you think?!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s