In the opening lines, Shakespeare starts to sketch the characters and some of the atmosphere of the play. Antonio, for example, is presented as being sad and melancholic for which the reason is unknown. Although his friends (Solanio and Salarino) try to help him find the grounds of his sadness but they couldn’t do so, it was very strange to all of them. Despite its Sad opening, one should always remember that The Merchant of Venice is a romantic comedy and, like most of Shakespeare's romantic comedies, it has a group of dashing, if not very profound, young men. For example, Solanio and Salarino are not terribly important. Their lines are interchangeable, and they are not really distinguishable from one another. They represent an element of youthful fancy’s. Salarino begins, typically, with a thought in which Antonio's ships are described as being like "rich burghers on the flood" and like birds, flying "with their woven wings." He continues into a delightfully fantastic series of imaginings; intended to bring Antonio out of his depression.
Thus, through the presentation on the stage of the sober, withdrawn Antonio, surrounded by the playful language and whimsy of the two young men, Shakespeare suggests in compressed form two of the elements of the play — the real dangers that the merchant of Venice will face and the world of youth and laughter which will be the background to the love stories of Bassanio and Portia,... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2011, 11). Merchant of Venice Extract 1. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Merchant-Of-Venice-Extract-1-847739.html
"Merchant of Venice Extract 1" StudyMode.com. 11 2011. 11 2011 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Merchant-Of-Venice-Extract-1-847739.html>.
"Merchant of Venice Extract 1." StudyMode.com. 11, 2011. Accessed 11, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Merchant-Of-Venice-Extract-1-847739.html.