BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Antonio
This is evident in the decisions, actions, and relationships of Antonio, Bassanio, Portia, and Jessica. Although Shakespeare concludes the play on a happy note, . Soon after the play begins, Antonio goes to Shylock to borrow some money. My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord / Will nevermore break faith advisedly". have suggested a homosexual relationship between Antonio and Bassanio. Portia, resident of the heavenly Belmont, represents Mercy, or God's Grace, on a homo‒erotic relationship between Antonio and Bassanio.
The key financial exchange is initiated by the loan Antonio secures from Shylock. Antonio is open in his willingness to pay usury for the loan, in recognition of the fact that there is no friendship between the merchant and the Jew If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not As to thy friends; for when did friendship take A breed for barren metal of his friend? This contract is ended in the trail presented in Act 3, and this is where secular interpretations of the play believe the story should end.
However the essential exchange is between Antonio and Portia. Antonio lends Bassanio the money so that he can marry Portia and hence Portia becomes indebted to Antonio. Portia repays this debt the final action featuring Antonio when she gives news to Antonio that his ships are not lost V.
Herein lies the key justification for the religious interpretation: The relevance of this interpretation of The Merchant to the argument in this paper is in the message that the play delivers concerning the relationship of Justice and Mercy.
The Merchant of Venice - Wikipedia
Shylock stands for the law IV. The Law, on its own, will alienate members of a community where as mercy brings them together. The question presents itself: The riches of embarrassment. Moral theme and romantic story. The Merchant of Venice: The basis of Shakespearean Comedy: A study in Medieval affinities. Essays and Studies, 3: Law and love in The Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare Quarterly, 27 3: The turn in recent economics and return to orthodoxy.
Antonio promises surety for Bassanio again in Act V, when Portia is questioning Bassanio about the loss of his ring, saying "I once did lend my body for his wealth, Some directors have suggested a homosexual relationship between Antonio and Bassanio. Antonio certainly never makes any mention of wanting a wife.
What do you think of this idea? He is apparently generous to other people too, as he never lends money for profit. However, he is vehemently anti-Jewish or anti-Semite. He has been cruel to Shylock over a long period of time, even though he is a Christian. He obviously does not love his enemies, as Christians are taught to do!
Whilst in prison, he recognises that Shylock hates him because he lent money to people to help them pay their debts to Shylock - yet makes no mention of other reasons why Shylock would hate him, such as all the verbal abuse he has given him! As Jews were considered foreigners the fair adjudication of Shylock's contract was necessary to keep secure the trade of the city. Act 4 We begin this act with Antonio's trial. The Duke pleads with Shylock to give "a gentle answer", a double entendre on the word Gentile, which meant someone not a Jew.
Shylock refuses to deny his bond. Bassanio and Gratiano are in attendance and advocate strongly that the Jew be thwarted by any means necessary. Bassanio attempts to bribe him with three times the amount of the bond. Shylock says he will have nothing but his pound of flesh. All is lost until Portia and Nerissa arrive in the guise of young men pretending to be a learned doctor Balthasar and his clerk.
Portia pleads for mercy and getting no further than the previous applicants she seems at first to confirm the strength of the bond and tells Antonio to prepare to pay it. When all seems hopeless Bassanio declares his despair: Antonio, I am married to a wife Which is as dear to me as life itself; But life itself, my wife, and all the world Are not with me esteemed above thy life, I would lose all, ay sacrifice them all Here to this devil, to deliver you.
Shylock is foiled by Portia who points out that there is a loophole in his contract. He omitted the request to shed blood in taking the pound of flesh. As it is not possible for him to remove the flesh without taking blood which he did not ask for the bond is forfeit. Since Shylock is so insistent on absolute adherence to the law he is made to lose his bond and since he as a foreigner attempted to harm the life of a Venetian he is himself subject to punishment.
Shylock leaves without his revenge with the added pain of having lost a portion of his wealth and his identity as a Jew through a forced conversion. Antonio and Bassanio leave together with Gratiano and run into the doctor and clerk still in disguise. They praise the doctor and insist on proffering favours onto "him".
At first Portia protests but then decides to test Bassanio's love for her by asking for the ring she gave him which she made him swear never to part with as a symbol of their love. Not realising the doctor is Portia in disguise Bassanio refuses to part with it but later after Antonio convinces him that surely his wife would understand that he did it for the person who saved his friend he sends to ring with Gratiano to the doctor.