Relationships in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

3131 Words Jul 13th, 2018 13 Pages
Relationships in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

'The Merchant of Venice' is one of Shakespeare's most popular plays and Act 1 Scene 3 is a key scene. There are three characters involved in the scene and these are: Antonio, Bassanio and Shylock. Shakespeare portrays their characters effectively as well as the contrasting relationships between them. He uses various themes, his language and style and the plot of the bond to achieve this.

Before I look at scene 3 it is important to look at the first scene of the play. At the beginning of Act 1 Scene 1 Antonio, the merchant of Venice, is portrayed as a troubled man, "In sooth, I know not why I am so sad," (line 1) and a character in
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Not only has Bassanio squandered his own fortune, he has borrowed money from Antonio which he is unable to repay, "I owe you much, and, like a wilful youth, / That which I owe is lost". This shows that he is irresponsible with money and maybe he does not care about Antonio as much as he care about him, because if he did he would have made sure that he paid him back. Bassanio argues that if Antonio were prepared to loan him yet more money, he could use it to make his fortune and repay both debts to Antonio. Shakespeare portrays him as being skilled in getting what he wants. Bassanio illustrates this, lines 139-51, with the idea of shooting an arrow in the same direction as one that had been lost, "and by adventuring both, I oft found both" (lines 143-4).

Antonio agrees to borrow money in his name in order to help his friend Bassanio clear his debts, "Try what my credit can in Venice do". This displays Antonio's generous character and confirms their close friendship, "My purse, my person, my extremest means / Lie all unlocked to your occasions.". However, Antonio's asserts are not secure so he is also taking a risk for his friend.

Now I will move on to Act 1 Scene 3. Bassanio and Shylock discuss the terms of the loan - 3,000 ducats for three months. I think Antonio sends Bassanio to do this before he
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