How successful do you think Shakespeare has been in constructing close relationships in Act 1 scene 1
The theme of friendship if used as a foundation stone in the play Merchant of Venice. One of Shakespeare’s success in constructing close relationships in Act 1 Scene 1 is the fellowship between Antonio’s friends and himself. Antonio is introduced to the audience first image of the play. Our first impression of Antonio is a self centered and melancholy person. The first line indicates that he is at a depression. He is possibly self absorbed, but yet he don’t understand why he is miserable.
First, Antonio has plenty of friends because is personal background. He is rich, possess several ships, he’s a merchant. We might interpret that all his friends, Bassanio, Salerio, Solanio, Grantiano, Lorenzo are being kindhearted to him just to see if they can get any advantages from him. Moreover, Salerio and Solanio is constantly mentioning his money and his status. ‘ There you argosies with portly sail’ , ‘ Do overpeer the petty traffickers’ , ‘And see my wealthy Andrew docked in sand,’. This remind us of the two headed Roman god Janus, where people are kind on the outside but sinful inside. Since Antonio signs of being depressed. Salerio and Solanio began to make assumption of why he’s sad and started to interrogate him. We see that there are friendship going on in between, not always business minded but also serves a duty to cheer his friend up, it shows care from Salerio and Solanio. This extent is successfully constructed a close relationship in Act 1 scene 1.
Another way that Shakespeare uses to heighten the relationships is inducing the character Bassanio, Antonio’s kinsman. Shakespeare is making the point that Antonio doesn't have a lot of close friends but Solanio refer Bassanio as ‘you most noble kindsman’ and ‘ better company’.