What would you trade to preserve a special relationship? Bassanio has squandered his wealth but plans to regain it by wooing wealthy Portia of Belmont, whose late father has imposed some creative restrictions on potential suitors. Bassanio asks Antonio for financial help, but Antonios money is tied up in trade. Together they strike a shocking deal with Shylock, who has reason to hate Antonio and his friends. Bassanio wins his bride but Antonios ships flounder and he must, by law, pay his bond to the merciless Shylock. Can Portia save her new husband's dearest friend?