Merchant of Venice

Sources

The forfeit of a merchant's deadly bond after standing surety for a friend's loan was a common tale in England in the late 16th century.[2] In addition, the test of the suitors at Belmont, the merchant's rescue from the "pound of flesh" penalty by his friend's new wife disguised as a lawyer, and her demand for the betrothal ring in payment are all elements present in the 14th-century tale Il Pecorone by Giovanni Fiorentino, which was published in Milan in 1558.[3] Elements of the trial scene are also found in The Orator by Alexandre Sylvane, published in translation in 1596.[2] The story of the three caskets can be found in "Gesta Romanorum", a collection of tales probably compiled at the end of the 13th century.


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