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  • In the courtroom, Antonio, Shylock, Bassanio, and the Duke of Venice enter.
  • The Duke of Venice tries to persuade Shylock to have mercy, but he refuses, even as Bassanio offers to repay him more than the borrowed sum.
  • Shylock becomes certain that he will gain Antonio's pound of flesh, and sharpens his knife. A messenger arrives with news that Portia, dressed as a doctor, will shortly arrive.
  • Portia, dressed as a doctor, arrives with Nerrisa, who is dressed as her clerk. Portia, like the Duke, attempts to lead Shylock down a more merciful path, but Shylock remains fixed on his decision.
  • Portia then notices a loophole in the vow. The bond does not mention anything else other than 'one pound of flesh'. Portia uses this to her advantage.
  • She states that no blood shall be shed during the process of removing the flesh, and that he must cut exactly one pound of the flesh- no more, no less.
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