Shylock's penalties

Alternative ending?

Argument in favour

Relevant play text

Alternative ending

The Merchant of Venice — An Alternative Ending

Text of the play relating to the argument

PORTIA: The party 'gainst the which he doth contrive
Shall seize one half his goods; the other half
Comes to the privy coffer of the state;
DUKE OF VENICE: For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's;
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.
PORTIA: Ay, for the state; not for Antonio.
ANTONIO: I am content, so he will let me have
The other half in use, to render it
Upon his death unto the gentleman
That lately stole his daughter –
Two things provided more; that, for this favour,
He presently become a Christian;
The other, that he do record a gift,
Here in the court, of all he dies possessed
Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter.

PORTIA: Antonio, you are welcome;
And I have better news in store for you
Than you expect. Unseal this letter soon;
There you shall find three of your argosies
Are richly come to harbour suddenly.
You shall not know by what strange accident
I chanced on this letter.
ANTONIO: I am dumb.
ANTONIO: Sweet lady, you have given me life and living;
For here I read for certain that my ships
Are safely come to road.

PORTIA: How now, Lorenzo!
My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.
NERISSA: Ay, and I'll give them him without a fee.
There do I give to you and Jessica,
From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift,
After his death, of all he dies possessed of.
LORENZO: Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
Of starved people.