The Merchant of Venice

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter SHYLOCK, SOLANIO, ANTONIO, and the jailer
SHYLOCK, SOLANIO, ANTONIO, and the jailer enter.
Jailer, look to him. Tell not me of mercy.
This is the fool that lent out money gratis.
Jailer, look to him.
Jailer, watch out for this one. Don’t try to convince me to feel sorry for him. This is the fool who lent out money without charging interest. Jailer, keep an eye on him.
   Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Listen to me, good Shylock.
I’ll have my bond. Speak not against my bond.
5I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond.
Thou calledst me dog before thou hadst a cause.
But since I am a dog, beware my fangs.
The duke shall grant me justice.—I do wonder,
Thou naughty jailer, that thou art so fond
10To come abroad with him at his request.
I’m going to get my


Shylock uses the word “bond” here to mean the goods Antonio promised to give Shylock if he defaulted on the loan—in other words, the pound of Antonio’s flesh.

. Don’t try to say anything against my taking my bond. I’ve sworn an oath that I will have my bond. You called me a dog before you had any reason to. But since I’m a dog, beware my fangs. The duke will give me justice.—I do wonder, jailer, how you can be so foolish as to let this prisoner out of his cell.
I pray thee, hear me speak.
Please, listen to me.
I’ll have my bond. I will not hear thee speak.
I’ll have my bond, and therefore speak no more.
I’ll not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool
15To shake the head, relent and sigh, and yield
To Christian intercessors. Follow not.
I’ll have no speaking. I will have my bond.
I want my bond. I won’t listen to you. I want my bond, so stop talking. I won’t be taken for a fool who sighs and gives in to Christian meddlers. Don’t follow me. I’m not talking with you. I want my bond.
He exits.
It is the most impenetrable cur
That ever kept with men.
He’s the most stubborn dog that ever lived among humans.