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How has the love plot been developed in Acts 1 and 2?

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Sidra Sohail 10T March 2005 How has the love plot been developed in Acts 1 and 2? The Merchant of Venice is a play of both love and hate. The love plot begins to develop in Acts 1 and 2, as we are introduced to the leading characters of the play. Bassanio is a friend of Antonio, who is the merchant of the play's title. Bassanio is a young man, and in the beginning of the play we are introduced his infantile character. We learn that he has spent all of his own money and aspires to regain his fortune by marrying the heiress, Portia. "...she is fair, and- fairer than that word- of wondrous virtues...Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued..." He needs to borrow ducats to present himself to Portia as an eligible suitor. Consequently, he turns to his friend Antonio for the money; however, Antonio has invested all his money in his ships at sea but still offers to borrow money for him, from Shylock. This shows the bond of friendship that lies between Antonio and Bassanio, and in this scene we are introduced to the love of friendship that they both hold. ...read more.


We also find out the fact that Jessica is in love with a Christian, Lorenzo. She hands Lancelot a letter to give to Lorenzo and when he leaves, she remarks how she is in love with the man. "O Lorenzo, if thou keep promise, I shall end this strife, become a Christian and thy loving wife." Jessica is intends to run away from her father's house in order to marry Lorenzo. In scene 5, Lorenzo and his friends are preparing for the masque, which is Bassanio's party. Lancelot arrives and gives the letter from Jessica to Lorenzo, who reads it and reassures Lancelot that he will not fail her. When Lorenzo and Gratiano are alone, Lorenzo shows him the letter sent by Jessica. He tells Gratiano that he is planning to steal Jessica away from her father's house, along with a great deal of her father's gold and jewels. In scene 5, when Shylock prepares to leave the house to go to dinner, he hands Jessica the keys to the house and orders her to lock up the house. Lancelot privately tells Jessica that Lorenzo will come for her later on that night, just as Shylock is ready to depart. ...read more.


"Come, come, Nerissa, for I long to see quick Cupid's post that comes so mannerly." "Bassanio, Lord Love, if thy will it be!" There are two main love plots that we are introduced to in the first two acts of this play. The first is the one involving Jessica and Lorenzo. We are not yet told how they met and why they have eloped but we are informed that there is a very intense love that exists between them if Jessica is willing to run away from home to get married to him. The second is the love plot involving Portia and Bassanio. We are not yet given much information about what history lies between them, however, we are quite convinced near the end of act 2 that they are destined to meet again, as they both hold fond memories of one another. Nerissa has obviously seen how they have got on in the past and is confident that they would make a good couple rather than any of the other suitors, which is why she hopes that Bassanio is the young Venetian who has arrived at the house. Portia too, is excited at this news, and we as the audience are further convinced that this love plot will develop further in the rest of the play. ...read more.

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