Bassanio And Antonio In Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice

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Question: Study the relationship between Bassanio and Antonio. By analyzing the language of the play, explore what their friendship reveals about their characters.

What Antonio and Bassanio’s relationship reveal about their characters

Bassanio and Antonio’s friendship is a vital piece to the foundation of the entire play, The Merchant of Venice. When we take a close look at many of the scenes, the situation will be heavily linked to their relationship, one way or another. There are several examples in the play that signal to us, as the audience, their closeness and dearness of each other and what that illustrates about their respective characters.
Antonio is a very understanding person. In Act 1 scene1, Bassanio is alone with Antonio and they have a discussion on Bassanio’s desire to take his chance on marrying Portia. To do so, he will need sufficient funds (which he does not have) hence, he comes to Antonio for help. Antonio says, “Thou know’st that all my fortunes are at sea…To have it of my trust or for my sake.” This speech by Antonio shows the audience his strong relationship with Bassanio because he is willing to take a loan of a large sum of money (with a high chance of him not being able to pay back on time) for a friend, who would only have a one-in-three chance of …show more content…

We know this because in Act 1 scene 3, while Shylock, Bassanio and Antonio have a conversation about the bond, Antonio says, “Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow by taking nor by giving of excess, yet to supply the ripe wants of my friend I’ll break a custom.” This tells us that Antonio would give up his religious beliefs in order to help Bassanio and at that time, religion played a massive role in a person’s life and public image. This shows the audience that Antonio holds Bassanio close to his heart and truly wants the best for him, therefore, making Antonio a very caring and loving

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