Merchant of Venice Antonio

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“Bigoted and spiteful”and “well-intentioned and loyal”, which of these views best describes the character of Antonio in your question. In “Merchant of Venice”, Antonio is the main character as he is the “merchant” in the story in Venice. As Antonio is a Christian, he is quite anti-Semitic and rude to Shylock, making some people believe that he is spiteful and bigoted. However, most of the play centers on him being the victim of the “villain” of the play, Shylock due to their bond they made. As Antonio is willing to give everything for Bassanio without any payment and he strikes at any chance to help Bassanio, I believe Shakespearian and modern audiences would believe him to be more of a well-intentioned and loyal friend. At the start…show more content…
The word “dare” shows his bravery in helping Bassanio, seeing as his first time bounding himself for Bassanio turned out to be a life and death situation. This time, Antonio doesn’t need Shylock or anyone else’s taunting to agree to a bond, but for the sake of Bassanio and Portia’s happiness, he is willing to put his “soul upon the forfeit”. He not only gives his life, he also gives his soul. This sounds more religious and important than dying, so Antonio shows his most extreme means and greater commitment in ensuring Bassanio’s happiness. This strongly displays his well intentions behind his actions. However, this also suggests that this bond will not end well, because in the first bond, Antonio failed to return the money. All in all, Antonio is well-intentioned and certainly very loyal towards Bassanio, as he helps his friend as well as he can quite a few times and the only reason behind his actions is their friendship, showing his benevolence. Even though Antonio is quite mean to Shylock, showing anti-semitism but overall, this main character is surely seen as a kind-hearted and faithful friend in audiences of all ages and
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