The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare) – Thug Notes Summary & Analysis

Y’all already know what it is- it’s Thug Notes,
bitches; and this week we gettin’ serious bout da bread with The Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare. Noble brutha Bassanio got it BAD fo’ a girl
who got as much paper as she got booty- Portia of Belmont. Dude wanna put a ring on it, but he blown
all his cheddar and now he ain’t got da ends to get an uptown girl like her to holla back. So Bassanio hit up his boy Antonio, a hood
rich merchant from the lock, and be like “Say bruh, think you can front me some cash money
so I can get my woo on with this bangin hunny? You know I’ll hit you back.” Antonio like “No dice, bruh. I’m cashed out cuz all my bread invested in
some ships that are flowin’ in da sea. But look, I’ll cover yo’ ass if you can find
a lender.” Up in Belmont, Portia straight buggin cuz
her daddy’s will say her she gotta marry whichever dude picks da right chest outta three-one
gold, one silver, and one lead. Man, what kinda shit is that? Portia ain’t feelin any of dem gumby-lookin
mofos tryna hit it, but then her main homegirl Nerissa say “Maybe that legit playa Bassanio
will drop by. He SO fly.” Back in V-town, Bossanio hit up a Jewish moneylender
named Shylock and tell him Antonio gonna guarantee a loan of 3Gs. Thing is, Shylock got beef with Antonio cuz
Shy-guy don’t like da way Antonio do bidness and always be hatin’ on is Jewish roots. So he agree to lend em da cash under one condition:
if Bassanio can’t pay up in three months, Shylock gonna take a pound of Antonio’s FLESH. Man… that’s steep, bruh. Antonio say “aight” though. So Bassanio get dat cash-money and peace out
to Belmont with his boy Gratiano. While Shylock busy plottin’, his daughter
Jessica run off and marry Antonio’s homie Lorenzo. Damn. In Belmont, Portia drowning in a buncha lame-ass
bustas all jonezin to get a crack at dat ass. But first they gotta choose from dem three
chests. The first two scrubs pick the gold and silver,
but EHHHH- dat ain’t gonna unlock dem legs. Then Bassanio drop in to town, roll up to
the scene, and pick da lead chest like a boss. DING DING! THAT’S RIGHT BOY- Portia ALL yours! So Portia give him a ring and say “You best
not EVER take this thang off.” “Damn, girl. Aight.” Gratiano say he and Nerissa in love too, so
they suggest a double wedding- cuz go big or go home, right? Just as they bout to pop bottles, they get
word dat Antonio’s ships lost at sea, so he ain’t got the money to pay Shylock back. When Bassanio hear this, he like “Shit I gotta
bust ass home and save mah boy!” Portia give her boo some fat stacks to pay
off the debt, but she got another plan she cookin’ up. She and Nerissa gonna dress up as dudes and
swang over to Venice. Up at court, Bassanio offer Shylock 6 big
ones, TWICE the original loan. But Shylock like “Nah, blood. I want dat pound of flesh.” The Duke of Venice lookin’ fo some advice
on da case, so out comes a legal whiz named Balthazar but, on the real, it’s Portia dressed
up like a dude. She still fine though. Girl start talkin bout how Shylock need to
show mercy but he ain’t feelin it. So Antonio ready to get carved up real good,
but then Portia like “HOLD UP! Yuh, the law say you can have a pound of his
flesh, but it DON’T say you can draw any of his blood, blood. Spill a single drop, and yo’ crib and all
yo money belong to the law. So good luck with that.” Shylock like “Psssssh FIIIIIINE I’ll just
take the cash.” But Portia say “Nuh-uh. Not so fast playboy. Since you tried to ice a Venetian citizen,
you gotta give up all yo property- half to the state, half to Antonio, AND the Duke get
to decide whether you live o’ die.” The Duke pity da fool and let him walk away. Anotinio say “Aight son, I’ll give you yo
cash back on two conditions- 1. You gotta become a Christian and 2- you leave
all yo benjamins to Lorenzo and Jessica after you die.” Shylock like “aight. Fine” and peaces out. Not knowing Balthazar is really his woman,
Bassanio try to throw her some mad gratitude, but Portia like “yo playboy I want dat ring.” And Nerissa, disguised as Balthazar’s right
hand man, say da same thing to Gratiano. Both boys hand over the bling and head back
to the crib where Portia and Nerissa be chillin. They like “YO. WHERE DA HELL ARE YO RINGS?” But Before shit go to far, da girls reveal
dat dem boys just got punked and it’s alllllll good. In da end, Lorenzo all geeked to know dat
after Shylock bite the dust, he and Jessica gonna be buried in benjamins. And Antonio get word dat his ships all good,
so his paper still legit. Phew. My man Willy Shakes is so gangsta that when
he busts a mad lyrical flow- it change the way people talk fo’ all time. You ever heard somebody say they gonna take
a pound of flesh if they ain’t get paid? Yep, it came from this play right hurr. Or ever heard someone who shady with money
called a shyster? Yeah, dat come from our boy Shylock. And well… that’s where stuff start gettin
messy. See, this play is one of da most notorious
of all da bad bard’s works. What’s the beef? Well open up yo ears and soak this game up:
Most scholars say da main jam of this text is dat holy rollin with Jesus make yo’ thuggin
all righteous, but if you ain’t- like say you Jewish- then yo’ morals are way outta
whack. Now keep in mind this mess was written back
in the day when this kinda prejudice against foreigners was goin down on the reg. Antonio reppin all da virtuous things Christianity
preachin’- like showin mad love to yo neighbor. Antonio’s wallet always open to his homies,
he neva’ charge any points on top of da principal, and dude offers up his OWN life just to get
his boys back. Whereas Shylock s’posed to rep all da crooked
morals you might have when you sippin on the manischewitz instead of da Jesus joose. Fo one, shylock only got ONE thing on his
mind- stackin paper off otha’ peoples problems. And when homies ask him to show a lil mercy
up at court, he would rather see Antonio bleed out n’ die like a bitch. So was da bard really throwin’ shade at Jews
or was he playin a mo’ subtle game? If you look close, it ain’t just Shylock who
actin shady- ERRYBODY got that side- whether they Christian, Jewish- whatever. Fo example, if Shakespeare really sayin’ Christians
are mo’ legit towards their fellow man, then why is Antonio always talkin shit bout Shylock
and callin him a dog? Cuz on the real, Shylock ain’t da only one
on dat vengeance grind. Antonio sho as hell don’t turn the other cheek
when he make Shylock convert and tell him how he s’posed to spend his money. No matter what faith you representin, you
might wanna dole out a lil’ payback. Like Shylock say: “If a Jew wrong a Christian,
what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his
sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge.” (III.i.64-67) And how about dat boy Bassanio? Errybody always runnin they mouths bout Shylock
being obsessed with da bread, but why do Bassanio got it bad for Portia? CUZ SHE RICH. As he say “In Belmont is a lady richly left.” Portia ain’t no saint neither. Girl don’t wanna marry da prince of Morocco
just cuz of da color of his skin: “If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good heart as
I can bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his approach: if he have the condition
of a saint and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive
me.” That’s some bulllllshit! But it don’t stop there. Yuh, Antonio a pretty generous brutha, willing
to sacrifice himself for his homie n’ shit, but he never SHUT DA HELL UP ABOUT IT. It’s like he tryna get people to talk bout
him like he freakin Jesus. “I 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 employ’d, Bassanio,/ Than to live still and write mine epitaph.” Is he really as selfless as he say? Or do he just have a big-ass head? So look- there ain’t no doubt this play got
the stank of more prejudiced times all up on it. But was Ol’ Willy really sayin dat religion
define da way you treat anotha’ brotha? Or did he pull a fast one by subtly callin
out all dem Elizabethans on their bullshit? Either way, yo boy Sparky know that ANYONE
can have a serious hater streak to em- no matter what religion they representin’. Yo thanks for chillin’ wit yo boy. Keep it real up in the library y’all. Peace!

100 Replies to “The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare) – Thug Notes Summary & Analysis

  1. The quote: “Hath not a Jew eyes ? Hath not a Jew feet? If you prick us, do we not bleed?”
    Comes from this play . Doesn’t seem like Shakespeare was a racist to me .

  2. Hello thug notes. Love your content. I just wanted to say that I think you may have misunderstood the quote you used at 8:03. You see I think that when Portia mentions complexion she means she wants a good looking strong man not necessarily talking about skin color.

  3. Please… please some 15 or 16 year olds watching this copy it word for word if your doin it for your gcse's.. guarenteed a

  4. oy vey the goyim knows

  5. Complexion back in Shakespeare's time could have a completely different meaning than it does today. Complexion can refer to his personality or his character, not his skin color

  6. The first film of the Merchant was in the 1920s. No one wanted to touch it again because the script is perceived as being anti-semitic. And yet the great Al Pacino showed us exactly the hypocrisy of the Venetian establishment. Shylock is a man in the process of going postal; he knows he's gone too far, but he can't stop. Pacino puts the audience in his pocket and walks off with it.

  7. As my all time favorite Shakespeare play, I LOVE this explanation. Fantastic way to give the most essential info and interpretation. AWESOME!

  8. Text suggestion: Pygmalion? the evolution of the greek myth to the play to My Fair Lady. All about the pit falls of creating the perfect woman

  9. When i was at school (30 years ago) it was Shylock is pure nasty and Antonio is a victim and Portia is a hero.That was it,fckn basic as fck teachers

  10. Want to show this to my class, is there a way to check for swearing etc before I show my students in case I don't have a chance to watch it myself before class?

  11. thankyouuuuu maybe now i wont fail my essay, i legit had no idea was was going on before, reallyyy helpful 🙂


  13. I just got one question.

    You know Paris, France? In English, they pronounce it “Paris,” but everyone else pronounces it without the “s” sound, like the French do. But with Venezia, everyone it the English way, “Venice.” Like The Merchant of Venice and Death in Venice . . . Why though?! Why isn’t the title Death in Venezia?! Are you friggin’ mocking me?! It takes place in Italy so use the Italian word, damn it! That shit pisses me off! Bunch of dumbasses!

  14. Actually Shakespeare would have probably heard of many of the scholars of the day and have seen Jewish practices actually he's not room in the encyclopedia Judaica as well as the Tom Wood they have a lot of things that is questionable for instance let's say if it's you was owed money by a Christian and they decided to tie up their arms and legs so they couldn't move but they leave a plate of food in front of them if that person dies of starvation that jew would not be held accountable especially when it comes to a gentile Gentiles can never take a Jew to court and when they do they're not taking seriously maimonides stated himself that Gentiles were below human and should not be trusted nor seen as equal if a gentile overshoe money they must pay to the full extent of the law but if a Jew or a gentile money a Jew doesn't have to pay or at least they don't feel they have to pay

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