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Shylock was a cruel man who lived in Venice. He used to lend money to people at a very high rate of interest. The people of Venice did not like him. For they knew him to be cruel.

There was in Venice at that a rich merchant called Antonio. He was very different from Shylock Antonio would always help people. He was kind. Shylock hated Antonio.

Antonio had many friends. They loved him. One of them was Bassanio. Bassanio anted to marry a rich girl, called Portia. This girl lived in another town. Bassanio needed money to go there. He also wanted to buy gifts for her. But Bassanio did not have money.


So he went to Antonio and said, “Can you lend me some money?”

Antonio wanted to help his friend. But at that moment all his ships were on the sea and he did not have money at hand.

Antonio went to Shylock and said, “Can you lend me some money for three months?”

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