The merchant of Venice
Part of the The Annotated Shakespeare series
In this lively comedy of love and money in sixteenth-century Venice, Bassanio wants to impress the wealthy heiress Portia, but lacks the necessary funds.
He turns to his merchant friend, Antonio, who is forced to borrow from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender.
When Antonio's business falters, repayment becomes impossible, and by the terms of the loan agreement, Shylock is able to demand a pound of Antonio's flesh.
Portia cleverly intervenes, and all ends well (except of course for Shylock).