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During a voyage, Antonio met Bassanio, who appeared to survive a shipwreck. Soon after Antonio rescues Bassanio, pirates lay siege upon the ship.
A battle ensures, however a pirate manages to get behind Antonio and attacks. Bassanio rushes to Antonio's aid and defeats the pirate. Since both had helped and protected one another, the two agree to become best friends since then.
Antonio needs 30 million gold in order to help the poor Bassanio. However, his trading ships are away, so Antonio must rely on Shylock, his rival. Shylock agrees to give him a loan, but he must pay it back within three months. He then requests Antonio to meet him within Alby Dungeon.
Antonio and Bassanio meet Shylock within the depths of Alby Dungeon. As Antonio tries to reconcile their differences Shylock laughs this off and explains the condition: If Antoino fails to repay him at the specified date, he loses his heart. Despite Bassanio's protests, Antonio agrees, stating he will have thrice the amount of the loan long before the deadline. Bassanio then takes the check and leaves.
According to Shylock, Antonio's ships have begun to mysteriously disappear. He states that this may be due to fate, as Shylock's daughter, Jessica, died from her injuries created by Vigorin, and Antonio did nothing about it.
Antonio heard the word that more of his ships are sinking. He becomes increasingly worried as the rest of his ships could sink, and wonders if that letting Jessica die led to this. Bassanio constantly tells him that it was not his fault.
As the ships continue sinking, Shylock requests Antonio held in the Commonwealth of Belvast until the agreement is completed or expires. Therefore, he had missed Bassanio's and Portia's wedding; Antonio's appearance there was merely a figment of Bassanio's imagination.
The three months have passed, and with all of Antonio's ships sunk, he is bankrupt and therefore unable to repay the loan.
During the court session, Shylock explains that he created such a contract and the Milletian, as a witness, clarifies this. Admiral Owen, acting as judge, gives three days for Antonio to finalize his personal matters before Shylock can take his heart.
Shylock yells at Antonio about his deceased family, continuously blaming that Antonio is at fault. He states that his revenge will finally be over when Shylock receives his heart. He then mocks Antonio on how a commoner rose over a noble. Antonio tries to set aside their differences and states that revenge cannot bring back Jessica, but Shylock corrects him, saying that his daughter can come back to life. After the discussion, Shylock walks away.
Bassanio, alarmed after hearing Antonio's arrest, immediately rushes to Belvast Island along with Portia. After successfully breaking him out, he refuses to leave, however, stating that offering his heart is the right thing to do for Shylock.
As Portia tries to clear a route, Bassanio tries to convince Antonio to leave. Shylock soon appears with a Shire and states that the loan has been repaid and urges Antonio to leave, with no explanation whatsoever. Antonio heeds Shylocks words, mounts the Shire, and leaves with his friend.
While Portia is outnumbered by the Belvast Guardsmen, the Shire mounted by Antonio and Bassanio runs them over. They soon board a ship manned by Nicca and Ethna and leave Belvast Island, with Shylock watching from the distance.
In the aftermath, the trio decide to travel the world.
Shylock explains that after Vigorin died, he felt that he did not know what he could do because only revenge was his meaning. He also explains that Antonio had done nothing wrong and therefore he was unable kill him, which is why he let him escape.