Act III - Scene I


[Enter Solanio and Salerio]

Now, what news on the Rialto?
Why, yet it lives there unchecked that Antonio hath
a ship of rich lading wrack'd on the narrow seas,—the
Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very dangerous flat,
and fatal, where the carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried,(5)
as they say, if my gossip report, be an honest woman of her
I would she were as lying a gossip in that, as ever
knapped ginger, or made her neighbours believe she wept
for the death of a third husband. But it is true,—without(10)
any slips of prolixity, or crossing the plain highway of
talk,—that the good Antonio, the honest Antonio,—O that
I had a title good enough to keep his name company!—
Come, the full stop.
Ha,—what sayest thou?—Why the end is, he hath lost(15)
a ship.
I would it might prove the end of his losses!
Let me say, amen, betimes, lest the devil cross my
prayer: for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew.—
How now, Shylock? what news among the merchants?(20)

[Enter Shylock]

You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my
daughter's flight.
That's certain. I, for my part, knew the tailor that made
the wings she flew withal.
And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was(25)
fledged; and then it is the complexion of them all to leave
the dam.
She is damn'd for it.
That's certain, if the devil may be her judge.
My own flesh and blood to rebel!(30)
Out upon it, old carrion! rebels it at these years?
I say, my daughter is my flesh and blood.
There is more difference between thy flesh and hers,
than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods,
than there is between red wine and rhenish:—but tell(35)
us, do you hear whether Antonio have had any loss at
sea or no?
There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a
prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto; a
beggar, that was used to come so smug upon the mart. Let(40)
him look to his bond: he was wont to call me usurer;—let
him look to his bond: he was wont to lend money for a
Christian courtesy;—let him look to his bond.
Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take his
flesh? What's that good for?(45)
To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it
will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and
hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked
at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains,
cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his(50)
reason? I am a Jew: hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew
hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?
fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons,
subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as(55)
a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you
tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not
die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are
like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew
wrong a Christian, what is his humility? revenge. If a(60)
Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by
Christian example? why, revenge. The villany you teach
me I will execute; and it shall go hard but I will better
the instruction.

Enter a man from Antonio

Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house,(65)
and desires to speak with you both.
We have been up and down to seek him.

Enter Tubal

Here comes another of the tribe; a third cannot be
matched, unless the devil himself turn Jew.

Exeunt Gentleman.

How now, Tubal, what news from Genoa? hast thou(70)
found my daughter?
I often came where I did hear of her, but cannot find
Why, there, there, there, there! a diamond gone, cost
me two thousand ducats in Frankfort! The curse never fell(75)
upon our nation till now; I never felt it till now:—two thou-
sand ducats in that; and other precious, precious jewels.—I
would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in
her ear! 'would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats
in her coffin! No news of them?—Why, so:—and I know(80)
not what's spent in the search. Why, thou loss upon loss! the
thief gone with so much, and so much to find the thief; and
no satisfaction, no revenge: nor no ill luck stirring but what
lights o' my shoulders; no sighs but o' my breathing: no tears
but o' my shedding.(85)
Yes, other men have ill luck too. Antonio, as I heard in
What, what, what? ill luck, ill luck?
Hath an argosy cast away, coming from Tripolis.
I thank God, I thank God:—Is it true? is it true?(90)
I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the
I thank thee, good Tubal;—Good news, good news:
ha! ha!—Where? in Genoa?
Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, one night,(95)
fourscore ducats!
Thou stick'st a dagger in me:—I shall never see my
gold again. Fourscore ducats at a sitting! fourscore ducats!
There came divers of Antonio's creditors in my company
to Venice, that swear he cannot choose but break.(100)
I am very glad of it: I'll plague him; I'll torture
Him; I am glad of it.
One of them showed me a ring, that he had of your
daughter for a monkey.
Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal: it was(105)
my turquoise: I had it of Leah, when I was a bachelor: I
would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys.
But Antonio is certainly undone.
Nay, that's true, that's very true. Go, Tubal, fee me
an officer, bespeak him a fortnight before: I will have the(110)
heart of him, if he forfeit; forwere he out of Venice, I can
make what merchandise I will. Go, Tubal, and meet me at
our synagogue; go, good Tubal; at our synagogue, Tubal.



  1. This speech can be seen as a turning point in Shylock's character. While before he positioned himself as better than the Christians, here he says that he will take vengeance because it is what he has learned by Christian example. This represents a metaphorical conversion: Shylock no longer has the Jewish patience he celebrated earlier, but instead adopts the Christian cruelty he suffered.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  2. By this Shylock means that if Antonio were not in Venice he would have no competition in his money lending business and could therefore make whatever deals he pleased. Notice that now that Shylock has lost everything, Biblical references drop out of his speech. He is now focused on revenge instead of guided by his faith.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  3. The ring that Jessica pawned in order to buy a monkey was a gift to Shylock from his dead wife Leah. Here he says that the ring was priceless because of its connection with his beloved. This line directly contradicts the vision of Shylock as a money hoarder; it also makes Jessica an unsympathetic character as she clearly does not care about the importance of the ring

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  4. Fourscore ducats is 80 ducats. Remember that the original bond in this play is only 3,000 ducats. This number demonstrates that Jessica is extravagantly spending Shylock's money.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  5. While some have read this speech as evidence that Shylock cares more about the loss of his money than the loss of his daughter, his broken syntax and focus on her being buried with the money suggests that he is more angry at Jessica than at the loss of the money. He seems to be pointing out that Jessica ran off with money caring more for it than her father. Thus, her proper punishment would be to be dead with her jewels.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  6. Notice that this entire speech is a series of questions. Shylock does not want to simply tell the Christians who he is, he wants them to think through these questions and notice the flaws in their own logic. Shylock wants to use his revenge as a form of instruction.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  7. This is the most famous speech in this play and one of the most famous speeches in the Shakespeare cannon. Notice that for all of the antisemitism racked against Shylock, Shylock is given the best and most memorable lines in the play. The presence of this speech offers an alternative reading of the play in which it is a tragedy: Shylock is the sympathetic character who wrongfully loses at the end of the play.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  8. Notice that the repetition in this speech demonstrates Shylock's anger. While at the beginning of the play, Shylock bond conditions could be interpreted as trying to teach Antonio a lesson or reveal something about his character, here the bond becomes a sign of revenge. Shylock has been too abused by the Christians and now wishes to seek vengeance for these wrongs.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  9. Solanio takes Shylock's comment literally in order to insult him. He calls him an "old carrion," or corpse, and suggests that his skin and blood rebel against him so much that he looks like a corpse.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  10. This exchange is a parody of grief. These two characters affect sadness for their friend in order to indulge in the gossip of his misfortune.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  11. Solanio wishes that he had the appropriate language to talk about Antonio's good character. This exclamation verges on dramatic, hyperbolic speech. Dramatic speech is less about the subject of the outburst and more about the person speaking.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  12. This is a colloquial saying that means to make up a spicy story. Solanio wishes that the woman who told Salerio was dishonest as it would mean that Antonio's fortunes were not wrecked.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  13. Salerio reports the very tragedy that everyone in the play has been anticipating: Antonio's ship has wrecked along with his fortune. However, notice that the tone of Salerio's speech here is no different than anything else he has related. He does not seem to understand the gravity of what has happened.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff