The major characters in The Merchant of Venice are:
Shylock - A Jewish moneylender in Venice.
Portia - A wealthy heiress from Belmont.
Antonio - The merchant whose love for his friend Bassanio prompts him to sign Shylock’s contract and almost lose his life.
Bassanio - A gentleman of Venice, and a kinsman and dear friend to Antonio.
Graziano - A friend of Bassanio’s who accompanies him to Belmont.
Jessica - Shylock’s daughter, Jessica hates life in her father’s house, and elopes with the young Christian gentleman, Lorenzo.
Lorenzo - A friend of Bassanio and Antonio, Lorenzo is in love with Shylock’s daughter, Jessica.
Shylock is the puzzling character, one who is persecuted, and bloodthirsty. He is obviously the antagonist of the novel. Portia is the heroine of the novel. She is beautiful, and sweet, and will change Shylock. Antonio is the self-tortured character in the book. He is depressed, quite melancholy, and one believes it must be due to a love lost or never gained.