Antonio and Bassanio

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Antonio and Bassanio

Antonio and Bassanio are mainly presented as a pair throughout the play. Their relationship, reaction of other characters towards them, thoughts and feeling they express are significant factors that contribute to answering the question. In the preformed version of Michael Radford Merchant of Venice there is a strong depiction of homosexuality, which is his own analysis of their relationship. This could alter the audience’s view on the play, as this theme is noticeable and quite obvious.

There are various themes that go on from beginning to end of the play one of which is the law in Venice. This scene shows how anxious Bassanio is about Antonio losing his pound of flesh to shylock. In the preformed version you could see Bassanio with a close up shot to show emotion trembling as he sees his friend Bassanio about to be stripped of his flesh over a problem with money that he caused. This makes him feel guilt and he is only goal is to get Antonio out of the dilemma, which shows they have a strong relationship between each other.

Another key theme in this play is the hatred of Jews by the Christians in Venice. In the movie Shylock was completely embarrassed by Antonio in public as he spat at his face, which was Michael Radford’s own reading of the play. The main reason Antonio does this is to demonstrate to people around he has no respect for Jews. This was the common in the society of Venice as the majority of the population there was Christian and the two religions often clashed in religious believe. This is significant because at this point Shylock has lost all respect for Antonio and anyone associated with him. We feel sympathy for Shylock since he did no wrong, the way in which he acts towards Antonio and Bassanio is without mercy as mentioned before in the court scene.

In scene one Antonio is at his house waiting anxiously for the arrival of Bassanio we can tell this as Salerio says, “your mind is tossing on the ocean”. This...
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