Could you please write the summary of merchant of venice act 1

could you please write the summary of merchant of Venice act 1 scene 1 and give character description of all important characters mentioned till now, all in only 500 words.

Act I Scene I
Antonio, a rich Christian merchant from Venice, awaits the return of his ships which carry the profits of all his investments engaged in business ventures abroad. In the meantime, his friend Bassanio who is in love with Portia needs money to compete for her hand with the other suitors. Antonio is sad as he is unable to lend Bassanio any money because of his investments and asks him to take a loan from another money lender keeping him (Antonio) as his guarantor.

Character description
Shakespeare presents Antonio as a happy-go-lucky man who is known for his generosity towards his friends. In reality, he is overcome by melancholy and cannot ascertain the cause for his sadness. When he could not offer Bassanio some money, he pledges himself as the guarantor of the loan borrowed from Shylock. Although he is a benevolent soul, he appears to harbour a deep-seated hatred towards the Jews, Shylock in particular. This was typical of the Elizabethan- English society. But despite this, he honours the contract he had with Shylock. He agrees to part with a pound of his flesh because he had failed to repay the loan Bassanio had taken in his name.

Salarino and Salanio
Being Antonio’s friends, Salarino and Salanio enter in the opening scene of the play. When they found that Antonia is unaware of the reason for his sadness, they get concerned for his well-being and try to give various reasons for his sadness. Salarino suggested that Antonia is worried about the safety of his merchant ships, while Salanio suggested Antonis being in love and thus, concludes that Antonia is naturally melancholy. These two, thus, gives the bedrock of the play; that he is a merchant and is disturbed about something.

Bassanio, closest and a loyal friend of Antonia, is portrayed as a impulsive and reckless youth who has squandered all his fortune and now is in dire need of money to marry a wealthy young lady. He wanted to put up the pretence of wealth for his love. So, when Antonia pledges himself to Shylock for lending a loan, Bassanio stands by and watches. He is a typical Elizabethan lover who wants to woo his woman in style at any cost.

Lorenzo and Gratiano
Lorenzo and Gratiano are another pals of Antonio and Bassanio. When Gratiano, a light-hearted and talkative, chides Antonis for being silent and moody, Lorenzo comes to Antonio’s rescue and repraches Gratiano for being so voluble.