A gamble on trading ships at sea, a pound of flesh as the penalty, a contest to win the hand of a rich heiress, and the final rescue in a court of law--"The Merchant of Venice "has all the ingredients required which make it one of Shakespeare's most dramatic romantic comedies. <br>Antonio is the merchant of Venice who borrows money to help his friend Bassanio win Portia in marriage. He borrows the money from Shylock, a shrewd moneylender who devises a retribution unprecedented in the annals of law... <br>...till a young lawyer defeats him in his own game. Who is this young lawyer? What is the clinching argument? "The Merchant of Venice" is memorable as much for its dramatic scenes as for its strong characters, all of which remain etched in the mind long after the story has been read.