and find homework help for other The Merchant of Venice questions at eNotes. that Shakespeare intends for the relationship between Bassanio and Antonio. One of the most important motifs, as I see it, in The Merchant of Venice is the In each love relationship, Shakespeare introduces a friendship to intrigue the viewer When Bassanio heard of this, he felt pulled by his friendship to help Antonio. Bassanio's love life is the first thing Antonio brings up with Bassanio when they're alone together in the play. Maybe he's just one of those guys who likes to.
Whatever slight doubt is there gets cleared by the end. Throughout the drama, the two friends are more dear than life to each other. Their love and trust for each other are evident at every stage of the drama. He does not differentiate between himself and his friend.
Bassanio has no money and he has been living in debts which he plans to repay. It is evident that Bassanio has to do little to persuade his friend for money.
Antonio is already more than willing to lend him. Antonio knows that his friend needs the money and clearly tells the Jew that had it not been so, he would have treated him just as he always does.
This shows his stubbornness and proves that at his heart Antonio is innocent and a little childish.
Kinsmen or "Cousins"
Had it not been so, he would have been able to avoid the trap Shylock had set. Bassanio grew up in Belmont with a young lady named Portia, who was of a wealthy family. It becomes clear early on in the play that Bassanio fell in love with Portia while they were children together in Belmont and has a strong desire to marry her. At some point, however, Bassanio immigrated to Venice, where he has been living for some time.
He has fallen severely into debt, which leaves the playgoer to wonder what the nature of his station is. Was he the younger son of a noble who stood to inherit nothing? He is obviously in his twenties or thirties at this time, so it is conceivable that he was the younger son if his father was dead.
What does Antonio and Bassanio’s friendship reveal about their characters?
If he was not the younger son, was his father a landless lord? It does not seem that Bassanio has any lands. Could it possibly be a strange combination of the two where Bassanio was the younger son but there was not even an inheritance to give the older son.
Bassanio becomes determined to go to Belmont to win her, but he needs money to do this.
To this debate, there are three main stands. The first is that the relationship is a homosocial one, the second that it is merely friendship, and the third is that Bassanio and Antonio are, in fact, family. To understand the homosocial stand, one must first understand what the term homosocial means. A homosocial relationship is very much like a homosexual relationship, however, the parties involved are not sleeping with each other, therefore the relationship is not homosexual.
The stand that they are just friends is perhaps the weakest of the three, as there is little evidence that cannot be refuted on that issue. The third, that they may in fact be kin, is also something of a strong argument, as the play states that the pair are kin. How does one know that the relationship is not homosexual, but homosocial? The playgoer knows that the relationship is most likely not homosexual because there are no references to Antonio or Bassanio being suspected of sleeping together, or that either of them has been labeled homosexual.
The relationship between Antonio and Bassanio may be homosocial, and support for this stand comes from the actions of both Antonio and Bassanio. Antonio lends Bassanio 3, ducats and puts his own life at risk so Bassanio can pay his debts and go to Belmont. Three thousand ducats was a large sum of money during that age, and the penalty for failing to pay it would be even harsher. Shylock, whom they borrowed the money from, demanded a pound of flesh from Antonio if he failed to repay the money.
Antonio willingly agrees to these terms, and Bassanio heads off to Belmont to woo Portia. After Bassanio has left, Antonio becomes somewhat upset, almost as if he misses his friend more than he should.
Antonio cannot pay these debts because his ships have wrecked, costing him much of his money. On the whole, the way Antonio and Portia each understood and helped Bassanio helps the viewer to recognize that love and friendship can coexist. However, the love and friendship must be true and understanding, and one must not feel threatened by the other. Portia displayed true love and understanding of Bassanio's friendship with Antonio and therefore helped this friendship become deeper.
Antonio displayed true friendship in understanding Bassanio's love for Portia and likewise helped this love to grow and blossom. By portraying these two relationships in one character, Shakespeare emphasized their mutual need for each other in order to fulfill a person. Without Antonio's friendship, Bassanio's love for Portia would never have been fulfilled. Also without Portia's love, Bassanio's friendship with Antonio would have ended tragically. Bassanio needed both his friendship and love to be whole and satisfied.
Shakespeare very successfully shows how true love and friendship not only do not oppose each other but even work together to help the other to mature and develop.