The Merchant of Venice Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does Antonio feel at the beginning of the play and why?

At the beginning of the play, Antonio feels overwhelmed with a melancholy feeling that neither he nor any of his merchant friends can seem to pinpoint.

2. What does Bassanio ask of Antonio when they first meet in this play and how does Antonio respond?

When Bassanio and Antonio first meet in this play, Bassanio asks if there is any way Antonio can lend him some money. Antonio cannot give him the money directly, but promises to guarantee any loan Bassanio can find for the money he needs.

3. What and how does Antonio compare life on earth to while he is speaking to Gratiano?

When Antonio is speaking to Gratiano at the beginning of the play, he compares life on this earth to a staged play. He feels that we are here acting out the part that the gods have set out for us and we are here to entertain them with our scripted antics.

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