Antonio and bassanio relationship merchant of venice

antonio and bassanio relationship merchant of venice

Get an answer for 'Describe Bassanio's relationship with Antonio in The Merchant of Venice. Does he genuinely loves Antonio, or is he doing this to convince. Antonio and Bassanio are very close and Antonio does all that he can - in Act 1 Scene 1 - to The Merchant of Venice: Plot Summary (Short). Bassanio's love life is the first thing Antonio brings up with Bassanio when they're alone together in the play. Maybe he's just one of those guys who likes to.

This shows his stubbornness and proves that at his heart Antonio is innocent and a little childish. Had it not been so, he would have been able to avoid the trap Shylock had set. This is just to show that he is doing all this for his friend and he would not like to see him disappointed.

Bassanio’s Sexuality

All of this shows that the two friends love and trust each other deeply and that each one of them is willing to make any sacrifice for the other. It also shows that Antonio is quite emotional about his friend and can become blinded by his love for him.

Antonio loves Bassanio from the bosom of his heart and wishes to see him before he dies at the hands of the Jew. Their friendship is not about money, but about loyalty and brotherhood.

antonio and bassanio relationship merchant of venice

Upon being asked by Portia that who Antonio is, Bassanio replies that he is not just his best friend and the kindest man but also the most honorable person in all Italy. He is a friend who is ready to sacrifice anything for him. Portia at once understands that Antonio is a noble person who has suffered for Bassanio. She promises to provide Bassanio with as much wealth that he can repay twenty times the debt.

  • What does Antonio and Bassanio’s friendship reveal about their characters?

The debt of the friend is really big and Bassanio postpones his marriage. Things turn around when Portia intervenes. It gets clear that both the friends are really loyal to each other.

antonio and bassanio relationship merchant of venice

It is not like Antonio is making all the sacrifices and Bassanio is using him to find his love. It is no surprise, therefore, that we only see Shylock in Venice.

He certainly does not fit in with the romantic imagery of Belmont. He is the biggest threat to happiness in the play. We can see this in his pound of flesh speech. To Shylock money is the only important thing as a merchant. This perhaps sheds light on the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio.

Hyman makes an interesting point about the monetary bond between the men. In doing so she prevents the spectacle of Antonio dying for his homoerotic desire, and secures her position as unrivalled wife. The difference in the relationship is obvious on their return to Belmont.

I dare be bound again, My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord Will never more break faith advisedly. Antonio belongs in the money hungry, merchant world of Venice, as his title suggests, and his changing relationship with Bassanio makes this point clearer.

Although the male relationships within the play are the most crucial it is obvious that Portia is a very strong character.

Bassanio’s Sexuality | Exploratory Shakespeare

She understands the submissive role of a woman in Elizabethan society and gains her strength from dressing as a man to intervene in the court scene.

It is Portia who decides the outcome of all the characters through the power of disguise. She is used to having some power in Belmont and knows how to manipulate the men in Venice. The ring trick ensures that she wins Bassanio from Antonio, despite the fact that initially Antonio removes Bassanio of his physical pledge of love to Portia by convincing him to hand over the ring. Although she has to assume a male guise in order to gain the power, it is only because she is aware of the social confines of her sex within a patriarchal society.

It is clear that Shakespeare challenged the boundaries of gender with his powerful female characters. This is partly due to the fact that most of the action takes place in the male dominated realm of Venice, but also due to the cross dressing of Portia and Nerissa for their most important roles in the play. Antonio comes across and has often been staged as a father figure to the other characters as he is always serious when the other men are quipping and playing on words, even the women do this in the ring scene where they joke bawdily about their men giving their rings to other men.

Bassanio treats him rather like a father, always asking for favours and never repaying his debts. In looking at the male relationships within the play we can see the main themes of the play reflected in certain pairings.

Kinsmen or "Cousins"

The women also become involved by means of cross dressing and assuming a male identity. Their preparations for the disguise can be seen as a parody of the construction of male identity. The male relationships seem more important in Venice where the language is of trade and where patriarchy is more dominant. This balance is redressed in Belmont where love triumphs.

antonio and bassanio relationship merchant of venice

It seems to me that Antonio ends up alone because he does not conform to the economy of Belmont or Venice. He seems to expect love in return for lending and hovers somewhere between the two realms.