This relationship between Antonio and Bassanio, the wealthy and responsible character constantly bailing out his more compulsive though economically challenged best friend, is absolutely classic. She is Jewish, but determined to convert to Christianity. Is Antonio just trying to be a nice guy/ good friend? Old Gobbo and Launcelot Gobbo in the 1947 production of The Merchant of Venice. Nerissa and Portia in the 2011 production of The Merchant of Venice. Also, more striking to me was the fact that Antonio has no money to speak of right now because all of his money is wrapped up in risky business ventures. Antonio’s love for Bassanio can be seen in act1 scene 3 by his decision of sacrificing his life to his biggest foe Shylock in order to supply Bassanio with his needs. Bassanio and Gratiano become closer when Bassanio agrees to Gratiano’s request to ask Nerissa, Portia’s waiting woman, for her hand in marriage. In the very beginning of the extract, Bassanio states “In my school- days” in order to emphasize his youth, further reinforcing his role as son. 2020 Their relationship, reaction of other characters towards them, thoughts and feeling they express are significant factors that contribute to answering the question. ), The Merchant of Venice. Bassanio and Gratiano are good friends, but Bassanio is the one in control of the relationship. Antonio and Bassanio are very close friends who have a great deal of loyalty to one another. Shylock lends money to Antonio on the condition that if Antonio cannot pay him back by the appointed time then Shylock will cut away a pound of Antonio’s flesh. In particular, students read and understand Act one scene one of the play, interpreting how Antonio and Bassanio’s relationship is introduced, before tracking how their friendship develops over … The relationship between these characters remains the same throughout the play. It is made clear that Bassanio already owes Antonio a significant amount of money, which he has yet to pay back, so why then would Antonio agree to lend him more? Antonio in the 1978 production of The Merchant of Venice. Nevertheless, Antonio loves and respects his friend, and barely hesitates to offer a solution for Bassanio’s most recent exploit (winning the hand of the wealthy and much sought-after Portia). Antonio instead inquires about Bassanio’s secret pilgrimage, revealing that Antonio was waiting to receive Bassanio because the latter had made it known that once again Antonio’s assistance is needed (I.i.119-21). Facts we learn about Portia at the start of the play: At the start of the play Portia feels overwhelmed by her current situation. Gratiano considers Nerissa to be very beautiful. I want to see if and how the character of Shylock is going to be used to convey a larger message about anti-Semitism in the play. First, I am curious to learn more about the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio, and if there is something major that has happened between them that would have made Antonio so devoted to helping out Bassanio. Some tension erupts between them when Portia ‘discovers’ that Bassanio gave the ring away and she tells him off for parting with it. When Antonio asks Shylock for money (to lend to Bassanio) and Shylock insists that Antonio must give him a pound of his flesh if he can’t repay the sum on time, Bassanio urges Antonio not to sign: ‘You shall not seal to such a bond from me’ (1:3). Lorenzo is evidently just as passionate about Jessica as she is about him as he asks Laucelet to deliver the message that he ‘will not fail her’ (2:4) and enlists his friends to help him enable her to escape from Shylock’s house so that they can run away together. If he fails to pay the money, Antonio will owe Shylock a pound of his own flesh. Emlyn Williams as Shylock in the 1956 production of The Merchant of Venice. It is this request which results in Antonio becoming ‘bound’ to Shylock and in danger of losing his life. Antonio in the 2015 production of The Merchant of Venice. Shylock in the 2015 production of The Merchant of Venice. In the context of his unrequited and presumably unconsummated relationship with Bassanio, Antonio’s willingness to offer up a pound of his own flesh seems particularly important, signifying a union that grotesquely alludes to the rites of marriage, where two … Once Bassanio has won Portia’s hand in marriage he admits that he pretended he had more wealth than he did and admits that he boasted about something he didn’t have. Facts we learn about Jessica at the start of the play: Jessica is humiliated by her father and determined that beyond being related genetically, their characters and personalities values/traditions/cultures? IE 10.0, so you may experience some difficulties using this website. What really interests me about Portia is how, at the time, she follows so rigidly the stipulations in her father’s will, even though he is already dead. In order to woo Portia he needs money and so asks Antonio for a loan. In the Venetian Court both the Duke and ‘Balthasar’ admit that Shylock’s bond was entirely legal and therefore Shylock is entitled to take the pound of flesh from Antonio: ‘lawfully by this the Jew may claim/ A pound of flesh’ (4.1). Facts we learn about Lorenzo at the start of the play: Lorenzo is determined to keep his promise to Jessica. He has a blind father called ‘Old Gobbo’. There is a history of animosity between Shylock and Antonio and Antonio has insulted Shylock on account of his religion. are completely different. It is made clear that Bassanio already owes Antonio a significant amount of money, which he has yet to pay back, so why then would Antonio agree to lend him more? Shylock is a moneylender who lives in Venice. Although Launcelet is immensely fond of Jessica, he thinks says that she will not go to Heaven because she is Jewish. 212481) Niepce and his brother, a professor at the chapter eighteen drivers who pick them up. Ultimately she plays an essential role in ensuring that Antonio’s life is saved, as she prevents Shylock from claiming his ‘pound of flesh’. When Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, goes missing, Tubal goes in search of her in order to help his friend. Gratiano accompanies Bassanio to Belmont and falls in love with Nerissa, Portia’s waiting woman. Unanswered Questions From Act I of The Merchant of Venice, Initial Thoughts on The Merchant of Venice. Antonio has a deep seated hatred for Shylock. Bassanio and Portia in the 2001 production of The Merchant of Venice. Nerissa admits that it is ‘true’ that she loves Gratiano (3:2). See how their relationship changes during the play by moving the bar to the marked points. I would like to see how his character is going to be developed further, and if these stereotypes will change or not. Facts we learn about Gratiano at the start of the play: Gratiano enjoys being the person who cheers others up. Diana Wynyard as Portia in the 1948 production of The Merchant of Venice. Shylock and Tubal's friendship must be close enough that Shylock knows Tubal will help him out, even before asking him to do so. This engaging and informative lesson enables students to make clear and precise interpretations regarding the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Shylock and Solanio in the 1987 production of The Merchant of Venice. She gives the ring back to him again as a symbol of theim being reunited, but Gratiano admits that he’ll ‘fear no other thing/So sore as keeping safe Nerissa’s ring’ (5.1), thinking the consequences of losing it might be much harsher next time! 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