Shylock and antonios relationship problems

shylock and antonios relationship problems

Get an answer for 'What is the conflict between Antonio and Shylock in The In addition, Shylock is Jewish, and Antonio is Christian, and anti-semitism on 2 educator answers; What is the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio?. To understand the relationship between Bassanio and Antonio, one must first While he seems to hate Shylock, Antonio seems to have some sort of affection for of the three, as there is little evidence that cannot be refuted on that issue. The relationship between Antonio and Shylock is contentious; Antonio is heroic, but Shylock is villainous. Certainly, they are rivals in their moneylending.

But it is to give him the vitality that I believe Shakespeare intended for him.

Villain or victim, Shakespeare’s Shylock is a character to celebrate | Books | The Guardian

I am not convinced that Shakespeare was ever interested in such abstract, academic mapping. But it is part of his greatness to allow unworked significance and unsorted old material to have their way without him in a play. DH Lawrence wrote astutely about what happens to a living work when the artist puts his finger in the pan, forcing its outcome. It ceases to be a living work. Much of what we make of Shylock is determined by the age of the actor, the clothes he wears and the curve of his nose It has always seemed wrong to me to talk of The Merchant of Venice as an anti- or a pro-semitic play.

Were it either it would be less the play it is. In both cases, Shylock appals them. But for me Shylock lives, with all his human imperfections on show. We know him by his speech, his repetitions — as though no thing said only once can possibly be trusted — those strange stutterings in which he addresses himself in a sort of surprise, his sudden absences when he is with others that causes them to wonder whether he is taking note of them at all, his unexpected reversions to lyricism, his exasperated bursts of thought, no matter that no one will accept a word of what he says, that make him a kind of second cousin to Hamlet.

No, there is never any thinking of him as other than a Jew: Would he have made life easier for himself had he relented? They speak of love and think of money. They speak of mercy and show none. 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.

Kinsmen or "Cousins"

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.

Bassanio learns this and leaves Belmont to return to Venice in the hopes that he might save Antonio. He could have just sent Shylock 3, ducats to pay the debt, as Bassanio would now have the means to do so. Also supporting the homosocial argument is the issue of the ring. Portia gives Bassanio a ring before he leaves Belmont.

She tells him that the ring symbolizes all the love she has for him and that he should never give it up, for if he does, he has forsaken her for another.

shylock and antonios relationship problems

In this age, unlike modern times, the man usually gave the woman a ring, but not vice versa. Portia giving Bassanio the ring is more a symbol of her dominance in the relationship, but it becomes important to the argument for a homosocial relationship between Antonio and Bassanio.

Bassanio left Belmont for the purpose of saving Antonio, but his efforts seem futile. In this act, Portia also hands Antonio his revenge on Shylock, whom she proves has planned the death of Antonio. Portia declines the money, but demands the ring she gave to Bassanio. Bassanio at first refuses to give up the ring, but Antonio convinces him to give it up. Playgoers must ask themselves the question: Does he love Portia at all? These are the questions raised by the incident with the ring.

shylock and antonios relationship problems

One also wonders if Antonio is jealous of Portia. One must wonder, however, if the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio is just friendship. The pair seem to roam within the same social circles and have many of the same friends.

Merchant of Venice Shylock and Antonio Relationship Essay Sample

Further, if the relationship was homosocial, would Bassanio have married Portia in the first place? By his marriage, Bassanio cuts off any chance of his relationship with Antonio growing into the realm of the sexual.

The few things that refute this argument are the same things that lend themselves to a homosocial relationship between Bassanio and Antonio. There is, however, one last argument, and its roots are in an anomaly. There is one line in The Merchant of Venice that could possibly destroy either of these two arguments, and that line reads: