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Friendship in The Merchant Of Venice

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In Act 1 Scene 1 we are introduced to Antonio, Salerio, Solanio, Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano. Antonio is a wealthy businessman. He is a trader. He also gives people loans but he does not charge them any interest. Salerio, Solanio, Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano are all good friends of Antonio and of each other. Lorenzo is in love with Jessica the daughter of Shylock. Bassanio is also in love with Portia and wants to marry her. In Act 1 Scene 1 Antonio is feeling unhappy, so his friends try to cheer him up. He is feeling sad because he is worried about his ships which have taken goods abroad. Salerio compares Antonio with his ships. He tells Antonio "Your mind is tossing on the ocean, there where your argosies with portly sail, like signors and rich burghers on the flood, or as it were the pageants on the sea, do overpeer the petty traffickers that curtsy to them, do them reverence, as they fly by them with their woven wings." He means to tell Antonio that just like your ships are on the sea, it seems Antonio is like that. ...read more.


Some of the things he says about Antonia are "How like a fawning publican he looks. I hate him for he is a Christian, but more, for that in low simplicity he lends out money gratis and brings down the rate of asance here with us in Venice." Shylock expresses very strong feelings of hatred towards Antonio. Shylock carries on talking to Antonio. Shylock agrees to give the money to Bassanio but he says with only one condition that Antonio agrees to his deal. Shylock says "Go with me to a notary, seal me there your single bond, and in a merry sort, if you repay me not on such a day, in such a place, such sum or sums as are expressed in the condition, let the forfeit be nominated for an equal pound of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken in what part of your body pleaseth me." Shylock means he and Antonio go to the notary and then Antonio signs the paper work there. The deal (the bond) is Antonio should pay Shylock his money back by the day they both have agreed, if Antonio fails to pay the money on that day Shylock will cut off a pound of flesh from Antonio's body. ...read more.


This also shows how strong the friendship between these characters is. The friendship between Antonio and friends saves his life. Antonio's friends stand beside him throughout the other acts especially in Act 4. Antonio's friends do everything to stop Shylock from cutting a pound of Antonio's flesh because Antonio could not pay him the money back. At the end they win and stop Shylock from cutting a pound of flesh from Antonio's body. This shows how friendship is important throughout the rest of the play. We also see Antonio's friends insisting that Shylock should not cut Antonio's flesh, in-fact he should cut theirs. We also see friends supporting each other in other scenes for example when Gratiano, Solanio, and Salerio help Jessica and Lorenzo to runaway in Act 2. This also shows the importance of friendship throughout this play. Throughout the play, friendship plays an important role and draws together the experience of it. Without the friendship of Bassanio and Antonio, and the other characters, the play would not have taken place. The play teaches us a lot about the importance of loyalty in friendship, but also the dangers involved. They show the importance of friendship by being there and helping each other. ...read more.

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