Self Interest, The Enemy Of True Affection

Decent Essays

Ashwin Thomas

Ms. Dunlop



Self-interest, the enemy of true affection

Self-interest forms a base of every relationship, be it is friendship, marriage or trade. Love and friendship are regarded as two of relationships where no one seeks a hard-headed purpose but seemingly many humans enter into a relationship just to extract some benefit from it. In both the plays, William Shakespeare with his famous piece, the Merchant of Venice and Arthur Miller with his famous play, The Crucible has depicted the role of self-interest in human relationships. They emphasize this theme from examples of love, friendship, power
The relationship between Antonio, Bassanio and Portia in The Merchant of Venice and the friendship between Abigail Williams and all the girls in The Crucible are both based on selfish motives. Bassanio asks Antonio for money in order to marry Portia. However, his motives for this marriage consists not of his unreasonable love for Portia but mostly his desire to obtain Portia’s wealth and be able to pay his debts. He reveals this motive when he tells Antonio that, “I owe you much, and, like a willful youth, that which I owe is lost. But if you please to shoot another arrow that self way which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt, as I will watch the aim, or to find both or bring your latter hazard back again and thankfully rest debtor for the first”. This shows Bassanio’s character and his want for money.
Similarly, in The Crucible, we have

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