Quotes Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Merchant of Venice, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. In connection with mercy and generosity, The Merchant of Venice also explores love and friendship between its characters. The central romantic relationship of the play is that between Bassanio and Portia.
Discuss Antonio's character and his part in the play. As to Antonio's character, we learn as much from what is said about him as from what he says himself. As is natural for one of his rank and wealth, he is surrounded by friends; but, in spite of the opinion of Gervinus, I can see no reason for regarding any one of them as merely a fawning parasite.
They never speak of him except in terms of warmest love and esteem, as when Salanio says, "The good Antonio, the honest Antonio, O that I had a title good enough to keep his name company!
Judging by the light given us in the play, he seems to have been a man somewhat advanced in years, with no immediate family, but with a nature craving affection. In this position he has taken to his heart his young kinsman, Bassanio, for whom he cherishes a love as tender as ever father bore for son, or an older for a younger brother.
In the opening words of the play he confesses to a sadness for which he will give no reason; and on further inquiry, the only discoverable cause lies in the fact that he will have to resign his position as first in Bassanio's affections, since the latter is about to commence his suit for the hand of some unknown fair one.
Yet he shows himself thoroughly unselfish in his devotion, and is even willing to violate all business principles and borrow money at interest, in order to lend Bassanio the money wherewith to purchase his outfit. Antonio shows not a little pride and belief in his own independent strength in the calm indifference with which he treats the dangerous condition inserted in the bond by the Jew; and his imprudence in this particular, combined with his former harsh treatment of Shylock, came near resulting in his utter destruction.
Indeed, it is hard to reconcile his harshness toward Shylock with his general disposition and deportment. Still, there are extenuating reasons for his feelings of hostility. In the time in which he was supposed to live, the Jews were looked upon universally with abhorrence and contempt; the taking of interest was regarded as being in direct opposition with all Christian principles; and the individual character of Shylock was such as to arouse aversion in even the most tolerant.
Still, the treatment he received from Antonio was unjustifiable; and Antonio had to suffer for it. But in spite of this grave blemish, the merchant, with his grave kindliness, constancy, and unselfishness, is one who exacts admiration and esteem from all.
Considering the play as an organized whole, Antonio occupies the central position: As an individual, or as a dramatic personage, he excites far less interest than either Shylock or Portia; but it is nevertheless he who furnishes the ground for the meeting and contest of these two great forces in the play.
It has well been said that Shakespeare has made this character verge on the neutral, else his overpowering hold upon our sympathies would have prevented us from duly appreciating the other influences at work in the play.
But though he is thus the Centre of the organic structure, his presence in the play is not due solely to a dramatic necessity. Through his instrumentality Shakespeare teaches us one of the gravest of lessons the beauty, durability, and power of true friendship. How to cite this article: William Taylor Thom, M.An Examination of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice The Theme of Sympathy in The Merchant of Venice, a Play by William Shakespeare.
1, words. 3 pages. The Development of Shylock in the Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare An Analysis of the Characters in the Play the Merchant of Venice. words. 1 page.
The. In connection with mercy and generosity, The Merchant of Venice also explores love and friendship between its characters. The central romantic relationship of the play is that between . William Shakespeare 's The Merchant Of Venice Essay - The plot, characters, and relationships present in William Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice all revolve around the concept of money; a theme that is strongly linked to the religious dichotomies explored throughout the comedy.
The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice (Antonio) must default on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock. It is believed to have been written between and William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice is a five-structured play.
The first act of the play acts as the expository act of the play. Its relevance lies in the fact that it introduces all the characters and, establishes the setting, themes and, conflicts.
In looking at the relationship between Jessica and Shylock, we are again forced to walk a fine line between sympathizing with and despising Shylock. For all intents and purposes, the play should label Shylock’s mistreatment by his own daughter as richly deserved.