The Merchant Of Venice Antonio

996 words - 4 pages

Intro Sample...


Antonio is a wealthy merchant in the city of Venice. Although central to the play, Antonio is portrayed by Shakespeare as an 'outcast'. It seems that Antonio is chronically depressed and is not involved in the social atmosphere that is thriving in Venice. -

"In sooth, I know not why I am so sad:
It wearies me; you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it. Found it, or came by it,
What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn:"1
Along with Shylock, both men seem bitter and have difficulty in expressing their emotions. On many occasions friends, such as Salerio and Bassanio have questioned his sadness, trying to find an explanation for their great unhappiness with themselves and with the world. -

Salerio: "But... View More »

Body Sample...


"7
With the realisation that Antonio's death is imminent, Antonio, like someone with a terminal illness gives up all hope of survival. Most people would fight literally for their lives against Shylock, but Antonio had progressed beyond sadness and had lost his will to live. Antonio's immediate acceptance of Shylock's bizarre bond signals the secret 'death wish' that Antonio holds very close to his heart. Antonio's sudden wish to die, brought about through great sadness and loneliness is affecting Bassanio greatly, who takes responsibility for what has happened. -

"Antonio, I am married to a wife
Which is dear to me as life itself;
But life itself, my wife, and all the world,
Are not with me esteem'd above thy life:
I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all,
Here to this devil, to deliver you"8
A moment of comedy is brought out after this speech through Portia
(Bassanio's wife), posing as a Doctor of Laws. -
"Your wife would give you little thanks of that,
If she were by to hear you make the offer."9
During the courtroom scene Portia and Nerissa undertake their daring plan to save Antonio. As Shylock is preparing to cut Antonio's heart from his body, a death which by this time Antonio freely excepts Portia reminds Shylock of the intricacies of the bond he made with Antonio. Shylock must cut exactly a pound of flesh from Antonio, not an ounce less, not an ounce more. He also must not create one drop of Christian blood. Shylock becomes very nervous and simply asks Antonio for the money he owes him. Portia, the lawyer declines this offer and Shylock ...

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