Act V

Jessica and Lorenzo sit outside at Belmont talking of the beauty of the night:

"The moon shines bright: in such a night as this,
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees
And they did make no noise, in such a night
Troilus methinks mounted the Troyan walls
And sigh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Cressid lay that night."

Portia and Nerissa return home, and swear everyone to secrecy about their part in the adventure. This makes a statement upon the role of woman in sixteenth century society, but perhaps a further one about the noble, unselfish nature of the women here. Portia and Nerissa enquire after their rings and the men, somewhat cowed, admit to giving them away. Finally Portia confesses to having been in disguise and also tells Antonio that three of his ships came in safe. Portia hands Lorenzo the deed by which he inherits Shylock's wealth upon his father-in-law's death. The play ends with the happy couples swearing devotion to each other.

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