The Merchant of Venice
In “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare is a play in which the themes of love and hate are dominant. The Merchant of Venice is a tale set in Venice about a merchant named Antonio who attempts to help his friend, Bassanio marry his love Portia. In order to do this he is forced to borrow money from a Jewish money lender called Shylock. In this essay I will discuss the nature of these themes and the main characters involved. I also intend to consider the different kinds of love and hate which are conveyed throughout the play. Initially I will write about the theme of love, the first aspect of this being love for a friend. We see this most clearly when Bassanio asked to borrow money from Antonio. As most of his money was caught up in his ships at sea, Antonio decided to ask for a loan from Shylock, despite the severe consequences if it was not paid back. A bond stated that if the money was not returned, Shylock would receive a pound of flesh from Antonio. As a good friend, Bassanio insisted that Antonio should not take such a risk but his plea was ignored as Antonio decided to accept the conditions of the bond. He does this because he is loyal to Bassanio and is determined for his friend to be happy and able to marry Portia. “My purse, my person, my extremist means lie all unlocked to your occasions”. By Antonio telling him this, he shows his care for Bassanio and his willingness to do whatever it takes to help his friend, also conveying the closeness of their friendship. Another aspect of love portrayed throughout the play is romantic love. This is conveyed most clearly through the characters of Portia and Bassanio. Although the love between these characters is strong, there are conditions which need to be met in order for them to...
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