The Merchant Of Venice

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The Merchant Of Venice

Antonio is a person who cherishes friendship. In this passage, we know that he will never be friends with Shylock because he charges interest on his loans, which Antonio thinks is wrong as friends do not do that and secondly he is a jew.

ANTONIO"I am as like to call thee so again,To spit on thee again, to spurn thee, too.If thou wilt lend this money, lend it notAs to thy friends, for when did friendship takeA breed for barren metal of his friend?"(Act 1 Scene 3, Line 125-129)

“Purse” in this context means Antonio’s wallet or rather his money. Antonio is willing to lend Bassanio any amount of money to fulfil his needs. In this case, the money is needed to woo Portia. “Person” means that Antonio is making himself available to help his friend.This passage tells me how much Antonio love Bassanio as a friend and how selfless he is as a man to help someone.

Theme:Love & Friendship

"I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;And if it stand, as you yourself still do,Within the eye of honor, be assuredMy purse, my person, my extremest meansLie all unlocked to your occasions"(Act 1 Scene 1 Line 135-139)

"Let it not enter in your mind of love.Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughtsTo courtship, and such fair ostents of loveAs shall conveniently become you there.'And even there, his eye being big with tears,Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,And with affection wondrous sensibleHe wrung Bassanio's hand; and so they parted."Act 2 Scene 8, Line42-49

Antonio, I am married to a wifeWhich is as dear to me as life itself,But life itself, my wife, and all the world,Are not with me esteemed above thy life.I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them allHere to this devil, to deliver you. Your wife would give you little thanks for thatIf she were by, to hear you make the offerAct 4 Scene 1, Line 281-288

Antonio’s chief interest in his life is his friendship for Bassanio and Bassanio means the world to him. He wept, sad for the fact that his “best friend” is leaving. This tells me that Antonio's friendship for Bassanio seems boundless

Bassanio seems to choose friendship over love here. His dear friend Antonio is about to die, and he immediately went there to help him. Also, Portia disguised herself as Balthazar, knows exactly where she stands, and she resolves to do something about it.

The Merchant Of Venice



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