Bassanio somehow hears about the heiress Portia and her wealth and decides to try his luck in … Also refer to Isabella Wheater, “Aristotelian Wealth and the Sea of Love: Shakespeare’s Synthesis of Greek Philosophy and Roman Poetry in The Merchant of Venice.”. Once freed from her father’s restraint, Jessica and Lorenzo spend their stolen wealth with carelessness, even trading the “turquoise,” which symbolizes the betrothal of her father and mother, for a monkey (III.i.118-23). [1] While most critics have paid particular attention to the character Shylock and the themes associated with him, I will look at the figures Antonio, Bassanio, Portia, and Jessica to show how their decisions, actions, and relationships reveal the moral limitations of Venice as a commercial republic. Whereas Antonio acted out of a misguided sense of friendship in giving a pound of his own flesh to Shylock, Bassanio relinquished his wedding ring to Balthazar at Antonio’s urging because of the debt he owed Antonio. In effect, Portia’s father has bound his daughter by a contract that transcends his own death. The Christian commandment of loving thy neighbor appears to have failed as a political principle to organize the city: commerce, contract, and profit have provided the path to stability, cooperation, and toleration. Discuss the importance and role of Bassanio’s character in Shakespeare’s play Merchant of Venice. As Antonio observes about his bond of flesh with Shylock, who had demanded its fulfillment: Will much impeach the justice of the state, Since that the trade and profit of the city, Consisteth of all nations (III.iii.26-31).[3]. (2016, Nov 14). Although Bassanio went to Antonio for money, in troubles he never thought of Antonio as the friend he uses and throws and this can be seen when Bassanio warns Antonio not to accept the bond of shylock and it can also be seen when he goes to free Antonio from the bond to the court. Portia stands poised to be transferred to the winning suitor, the portrait hidden in one of the three caskets that symbolizes her objectification (III.ii.115). Only those who are able to calculate correctly like Bassanio and Portia will be content in such a regime. It is the means by which Antonio signifies something that cannot be assigned a calculated value: his love (I.i.153-60, 184-85). While Jessica has recklessly spent their stolen money, Portia has carefully conserved her wealth to make her husband a debtor in their relationship. [2] Specifically I will explore how Venice, as a commercial republic that is based on contract, has a corrosive effect on non-contractual, moral relationships like friendship, love, and marriage. Gender Stereotypes in the Merchant of Venice. Get Your Custom Essay on, Gender Stereotypes in the Merchant of Venice, By clicking “Write my paper”, you agree to our, Topic: Gender Stereotypes in the Merchant of Venice, Gender Roles in Our Society Are Based On Prejudice, Problem of Equal Numbers of Male and Female Students in Universities,, Get your custom Now, to concentrate on the character sketch of Bassanio, he is presented as an enthusiastic young man with some good qualities and a crucial flaw of character. [18] For critics who disagree with this similarity between Belmont and Venice, refer to endnote one. [15] This is the consensus among critics. Portia interprets that right as a right of possession over her property and person as symbolized by the wedding which she gives to her new husband. The cause of Antonio’s sadness has befuddled critics, who have offered several explanations about the cause of his sadness from suppressed homoerotic feelings for Bassanio to a Christ-like pursuit of spiritual perfection. When Portia reveals to everyone that she is Balthazar, to whom Bassanio, on the urging of Antonio, gave his wedding ring as a token of gratitude for savings his friend’s life, everyone is stunned (IV.i.452-54). Jessica is initially bound to her Jewish father, but later elopes with her lover, Lorenzo, defying the most prominent male in her life to live by her own free will; definitely not a common practice of her time. Bassanio’s happy-go-lucky nature is a sharp contrast to that of Antonio’s melancholic one. How does Nerissa explain why Portia’s body is “aweary of this great world”? In case you can’t find a sample example, our professional writers are ready to help you with writing One of the most, It is true that Splatoon is rated “E10+” (for everyone age 10 and up), but there are many others action games not rated M. Action games rated “T” include the Final Fantasy series of games, Monster Hunter: World, Jak and Daxter (each of the action role-play or action adventure subgenre), Destiny (first-person shooter subgenre), Injustice (fighting subgenre), Fortnite (a survival and battle royal game available in alpha and beta testing as early as 2014) and Portal (platform subgenre). Although Antonio is now part of the community formed by Bassanio’s and Portia’s marriage, it is not evident in the play that Antonio has learned what friendship truly is. Literature Notes Shakespeare represents women as powerful characters who overpower men and defy the expectations of their time, ultimately positioning the audience to challenge their own understanding of women and their capabilities. How the Venetians were able to accomplish this feat was of interest to the English and perhaps even to us today.[30]. The character of Bassanio in William Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice is an important one. By tempering justice, mercy blesses both the giver and receiver of the contract, thereby making both participants divine-like. The ring symbolizes the moral relationship of love instead of contract, which Bassanio had failed to understand. David Seipp, “The Concept of Property in Early Common Law,” Law and History Review 12 (1994), 29-91;  Amy Louise Erickson, Women and Property in Early Modern England (London: Routledge, 1993); B. J. Sokol and Mary Sokol. Copied material from elsewhere will be deleted by forum moderators. As a result, Antonio mistakes money as the essence rather than as a symbol of non-monetary values like friendship and engages in irrational behavior to the point of literally risking self-annihilation as proof of these moral values. This assessment of her relationship with Bassanio echoes her earlier statement, where she said, “when you part from, lose, or give away / Let it presage the ruin of you love, / And be my vantage to exclaim on you” (III.ii.172-74). Why does Launcelot mention Ash Wednesday and Black Monday?