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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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