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Shylock the moneylender and merchant is known as someone who doesn't charge unreasonable interest for lending money. Antonio goes to him despite his personal dislike for Shylock. But Antonio wants to help Bassanip, who has asked Antonio for a loan because his own financial hardships have drained his accounts. Bassanio wants the money so that he can woo Portia, a wealthy noblewoman who is allowing suitors to try their hand at guessing from among three caskets for the chance to win her hand in marriage. Antonio cares deeply for Bassanio (it is hinted that he may harbor romantic feelings for him or at least jealousy of Bassanio's interest in Portia) and so does what he can to help by borrowing the money from Shylock.
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