The Merchant of Venice Characters

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Antonio:

Antonio is a merchant of Venice, perhaps "the" merchant of Venice. When Bassanio asks him for money to impress Portia, Antonio wants to give it to him but cannot because all of his money is tied up in goods that are being transported by ship to ports where they will be sold. Out of kindness to Bassanio he agrees to secure any loan Bassanio might get in the marketplace. Bassanio requests that loan from Shylock, a moneylender with whom Antonio is not on the best of terms. Antonio has criticized Shylock for usury, and Shylock, in turn, resents Antonio's generosity in loaning money out at no interest. To get back at Antonio, Shylock proposes a bond that stipulates Antonio will forfeit "a pound of flesh" if he cannot repay the loan. Again, out of kindness to his friend and a certainty that his ships will have come in...

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This section contains 4,261 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Merchant of Venice Study Guide
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The Merchant of Venice from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.