Reduced Merchant of Venice Act 1

Act 1 Scene 1

Antonio, Salarino, Solanio enter.

Antonio: I’m really sad and I don’t know why.

Salarino: Well that’s what happens when you invest in boats, if they sink you’re doomed.

Solanio: Yeah, I wouldn’t invest in ships, I’d be sad too.

Antonio: Trust me that’s not it. I’m still rich, relax. I’ll be fine.

Solanio: Are you sad because you’re in love?

Antonio: *rolls eyes* No.

Salarino: I’d stay to cheer you up but your nobler friends are here so we’re gonna peace out.

Salarino and Solanio exit. Bassanio, Lorenzo, Gratiano enter.

Gratiano: You look bad Antonio. Stressed out? You should cheer up a bit, don’t be so glum. I love you man! I just want you to be happy. You shouldn’t be so quiet.

Antonio: Ok, see you later.

Gratiano and Lorenzo exit.

Antonio: Bassanio, who’s this girl I keep hearing about? *wink*

Bassanio: Her name is Portia, she’s beautiful, kind and wealthy. What more could I ask for?  I want to see her but I don’t have money to travel to her. I won’t take your money btw. I’m always in debt to you.

Antonio: You’re my friend, I’d go bankrupt for you.

Bassanio: I think she likes me, lots of guys are going to Belmont to win her over.

Antonio: I don’t have cash until my boats arrive back, just use my credit. Go get her m8.

Bassanio: Ok thanks.

They exit.

Act 1 Scene 2

Portia and Nerissa enter.

Portia: *dramatically puts hand to forehead* Poor me, I’m so tired. It’s not easy being rich… I want a nice boy! I’m tired of waiting around. The brain always tells the heart what to do, but that doesn’t matter anyways. We all think we should be good people but we aren’t. I’m stuck living by the demands of my dead father, and now I’ll be a single pringle forever. I just want to choose my boy.

Nerissa: You’re dad was a good guy, bit weird. Dunno why he’s leaving your fate in a game with boxes, maybe he went delirious on his deathbed. So let me get this straight…  There’s three boxes and the suitor who chooses the right won deserves your love. But you don’t even like the guys that come by so…

Portia: Like who?

Nerissa: The naples guy’s mom had an affair with a blacksmith… Count Palatine is always frowning… Falconbridge doesn’t speak a word of my languages… And the French and Scottish lords… Ugh don’t even get me started.

Portia: They’re all horrible cry babies. I wouldn’t be able to love a single one of them! But blah blah blah, no can do. I’m going to die an old maid. The only thing I like about them is that they’re not here.

Nerissa: Good luck finding a man then. You gotta relax you’re way too picky. But what about that boy Bassanio?

Portia: I remember him, he might be husband material.

Servant enters.

Servant: Oi madame, the prince of Morocco is here tonight.

Portia: Great, the burnt marshmallow comes tonight. He’s nice but has the complexion of the devil, so he’s a lost cause. No can do.

Act 1 Scene 3

They exit. Bassanio and Shylock enter.

Shylock: Three thousand ducats, hmmm. For three months, hmmm. And Antonio will guarantee the loan, hmmm. Even tho his ships are all over the place right now and anything could happen to them… he’s wealthy enough. Alright then, deal done.

Bassanio: Solid, come to dinner with us to seal the deal?

Shylock: And smell pork? No. Jesus sent the devil to your pigs, I won’t eat that.

Antonio enters.

Shylock: I don’t like Antonio, he’s a reckless Christian who loans his money without interest, and he hates Jews. It’d be an insult to all Jews everywhere for me to forgive him… but ok. Let me figure out interest rates…

Antonio: *makes mocking face and hand motions* So, Shylock, is the loan on or off?

Shylock: Relax you rude christian. You called me a dirty dog and spit on my clothes, then ask me for my money. I don’t owe you anything.

Antonio: I’d do it again too. If it helps, lend to me as your enemy so you can take your penalty.

Shylock: I am trying to forgive you here but you won’t even listen. I’ll show you my kindness, let’s make the deal official. But if I don’t get the money, I want a pound of your flesh.

Antonio: Great. It’s a deal. I’ll even pretend I like jews.

Bassanio: WTF? I’d rather not take the money.

Antonio: DW, it’ll never happen.

Shylock: *looks up* Pls don’t hate me, father Abraham.

Shylock exits.

Antonio: Shylock is kind of nice, seems like a Christian to me.

Bassanio: I hate villains that act nice, it’s sus*.

They exit.

* Sus is teenage slang for suspicious


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