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Merchant Of Venice Essay

2381 words - 10 pages

1. MERCHANT OF VENICE a) Bassanio, Antonio’s dearest friend, confesses that he is madly in love with a girl of exceptional beauty and of rich inheritance at Belmont and her name is Portia. He also tells Antonio that he wishes to pay a visit to that place in order to win her as his wife. Already in debt to Antonio, Bassanio asks for more money to finance his suit to Portia. Antonio’s merchandise and wealth is currently at sea, but he generously offers to use his credit to borrow money for Bassanio’s use. ...view middle of the document...

Antonio requests Shylock to give three thousand ducats to Bassanio on his personal security. Shylock tells Antonio that he does not charge any interest on his loan. Antonio tells Shylock that he can charge the heaviest penalty if he fails to pay the money at the appropriate time. Shylock goes to the lawyer to execute a merry bond. The merry bond contains the condition that if Antonio fails to pay the money, Shylock would be entitled to take a pound of flesh from Antonio’s chest. Bassanio warns Antonio against signing the Bond but Antonio is conflict of getting his ships back and Antonio signs the Bond.
ANTONIO- He is the central character in the play. He is a merchant in Venice. He is Christian. He is a true friend. Bassanio and Antonio are close friends. He is ready to do anything for his friend. He is very kind. He is a man who has inexhaustible stock of generosity and sincerity. He lends the money without charging any interest. He is passive and prejudice against Jews. The bond he signs is ruinous. When he comes to know that the Bond has been forfeited, he does not accuse anybody.
b) As the three suitors compete for the hand of Portia and seek to solve the riddle of the caskets, they read the three inscriptions, one of which contains Portia’s portrait: “Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire” reads the golden casket; “Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves” appears on the silver casket; and “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath” is written on the leaden casket. The Prince of Morocco, fixed on “gaining” and dazzled by gold, seeks the prize of wealth as he calculates his earnings in winning Portia. The Prince of Aragon, reducing love to just deserts rather than appreciating it as a heavenly gift, also uses economic terms to determine his choice and declares “I will assume desert” as if he has paid the right price for his purchase. Bassanio, on the other hand, does not value love as a financial debt or profitable transaction but as a blessing of good fortune that transcends the laws of the marketplace. By hazarding “all” with no calculations based on self-interest Bassanio—choosing the plain leaden casket—prizes Portia beyond gold and silver. Winning Portia’s love without consideration of gaining or deserving, Bassanio acknowledges that love demands “venturing.” Giving without expecting to gain, he receives the priceless gift of Portia’s love worth more than all the gold and silver in the world.
2. POETRY a) In the fourteenth century an Abbot of Aberbrothok in nearby Angus tied a bell to the Inchcape Rock to warn the passing ships of the danger due to the notorious rock. When the sailors heard the bell ringing they knew that their ship was near...

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