Literature Merchant of Vence

Literature Merchant of Vence

  • Submitted By: ladyacharde
  • Date Submitted: 02/17/2009 7:09 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 451
  • Page: 2
  • Views: 309

The Merchants of Venice

How does Shakespeare’s writing causes you to both admire and despise Antonio?

Antonio, one of the prime characters in Shakespeare’s drama The

Merchants of Venice is a complex character. Shakespeare portrays him to

be generous and a wise successful businessman on the other hand, he

also portrays him to be Anti-Semetic. This causes the reader to both admire and

despise Antonio.

Shakespeare’s writing presents Antonio to be admirable through his

actions of him being generous. When speaking to Bassanio he was willing

to assist him with money in order to help him to pursue his courtship of

the fair lady of Belmont, despite Bassanio’s past “something too

prodigal”, he looks past those circumstances and helps out a friend,

promising to try to obtain the necessary money for Bassanio. Antonio

says “Therefore go forth, try what my credit can in Venice do; and so I

will where money is, and I no question make to have it of my trust or for

my sake.”

Another way Shakespeare presents Antonio to be admirable is

through his actions of him being a wise successful businessman. In the

city of Venice, Antonio makes his living off of trade. Antonio says that,

“My ventures are not in one bottom trusted, nor to a place; nor is my

whole estate upon the fortune of this present year,” he has invested his

money not only in one ship but in other ships therefore if one crashes he

would have the other to make a living.

Shakespeare’s writing also despises Antonio and presents him to be

Anti-semetic on several occasions. When Antonio and Bassanio goes to

Shylock to ask for money, Shylock recalls the time when Antonio refers

to him as a “cut-throat dog” and spat on him. Antonio uses a metaphor...

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