Artboard Created with Sketch. Close Search Dialog
! Error Created with Sketch.

The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 5

Original Text

Modern Text

DUKE

105Upon my power I may dismiss this court,
Unless Bellario, a learnèd doctor,
Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Come here today.

DUKE

I have the authority to dismiss this court, unless Bellario comes today. He’s a legal expert I sent for to act as judge and help settle this matter.

SALERIO

   My lord, here stays without
A messenger with letters from the doctor,
110New come from Padua.

SALERIO

My lord, a messenger is waiting outside with letters from Bellario. He’s just come from Padua.

DUKE

Bring us the letter. Call the messenger.

DUKE

Bring us the letters. Call the messenger in.

BASSANIO

Good cheer, Antonio! What, man, courage yet!
The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones and all,
Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.

BASSANIO

Cheer up, Antonio! Keep up your courage, man! I’ll give the Jew my flesh, blood, bones, and everything before you lose one drop of blood for me.

ANTONIO

115I am a tainted wether of the flock,
Meetest for death. The weakest kind of fruit
Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me.
You cannot better be employed, Bassanio,
Than to live still and write mine epitaph.

ANTONIO

I’m like the one sick sheep in the flock, the one who deserves to die. The weakest fruit drops to the ground first, so let me drop. Bassanio, the best thing you can do is to keep living and write an epitaph for my gravestone.
Enter NERISSA, disguised as a clerk
NERISSA enters, disguised as a lawyer’s clerk.

DUKE

120Came you from Padua, from Bellario?

DUKE

Have you come from Bellario’s office in Padua?

NERISSA

From both, my lord. Bellario greets your grace.
(gives DUKE a letter)

NERISSA

Yes, my lord. Bellario sends his greetings.
(she gives the DUKE a letter)
SHYLOCK sharpens a knife on the bottom of his shoe
SHYLOCK sharpens his knife on the sole of his shoe.

BASSANIO

(to SHYLOCK) Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?

BASSANIO

(to SHYLOCK) Why are you sharpening your knife so eagerly?