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In "The Merchant of Venice", does Antonio love Bassanio?Is Antonio a...
Topic: The Merchant of Venice
In "The Merchant of Venice", does Antonio love Bassanio?
Is Antonio a homosexual in love with Bassanio? He's unmarried. He will do anything for Bassanio including breaking personal beliefs (he borrows money with interest for him) he bankrupts himself for him and, in the end, is prepared to die for him, as long as he, Bassanio, is there to say goodbye beforehand. Is Shakespeare trying to suggest Antonio is gay?
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High School Teacher
There is a school of thought that says that Antonio is homosexual and in love with Bassanio but there is not really enough evidence in the play to support this. It is more likely that Antonio is a kind of fatherly figure to Bassanio and is prepared to do anything to ensure his happiness.
At the beginning of the play, Bassanio is impetuous and desperately trying to secure his fortune through marriage. Antonio bails him out by giving him money and it doesn't seem to be the first time. Bassanio is almost like a teenager; at times he does what he wants with very little thought as to the consequences. Antonio is the parental figure who will do anything to ensure that he is happy and get what he wants; even if it costs him his life.
Posted by pippin1313 on September 30, 2008 at 5:15 AM (Answer #1)
My answer is more of a question and hopes to be answered by pippin 1313 or any teacher or well informed student . In the very begining of this play, the words used by antonio tells me personally that he is sad . also the reason why he is sad is even strange to him . he says it makes him feel like a dunce or as used in the play a "wit -want sadness." He knew that bassanio was in love with a fair lady because that was the first question he asked bassanio when they were left alone . that is what he was thinking of in the begining. thats what made him feel like a dunce sadness "HOW WAS HE GOING TO TELL A MAN ... HIS FRIEND BASSANIO THAT HE LOVED HIM LIKE A SOULMATE WHEN BASSANIO WAS ALREADY IN LOVE WITH PORTIA."additionally to this , if his feelings were strange or uncommon that means that in the time this book was written (1600) people never really felt this way towards whatever he felt it for,(homosexualism.). if he does like bassanio as a son then WHY DID HE LIE TO BASSANIO.
Posted by sillylilly16 on October 15, 2008 at 9:42 AM (Answer #2)
Didnt he tell salanio and solerio in act one scene one that all his ventures arent at sea "believe me no. all my ventures are not in one ship.... or place...." . And later on he tells bassanio when they were left alone that all his wealth is at sea .why would he lie. isnt it because he wanted bassanio to go out to borrow money , and antonio who had the knowledge that within the time they were living in the only people who lends money is their bitter enemies THE JEWS .he knew that even if the money was loaned to bassanio by the use of his name he would have to pay that debt and obviously shylock wanted intrest on that payment. hence asking for a pound of flesh.
Posted by sillylilly16 on October 15, 2008 at 9:55 AM (Answer #3)
i believe antonio willing did this to prove to bassanio the lenghts he would go to prove his love.because when shylock said that the payment was a pound of flesh from any part of his body where ever pleases him. antonio had the money so he could have walked away but he signed the deal even though bassanio objected . why did he do this . antonio even remains single at the end. even lorenzo the poor clown found love but rich Antonio didnt . was shakespeare telling us something ?
PLEASE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS . .....ANYBODY.
Posted by sillylilly16 on October 15, 2008 at 9:56 AM (Answer #4)
I would say that Antonio is not gay because of the fact that there is not enough evidence in the play that suggest that or to show that. I would say he loved Bassanio so much because they were good friend ad Antonio would have considered Bassanio as his BROTHER.
Posted by ganesh2010 on October 22, 2008 at 6:40 AM (Answer #5)
High School Teacher
There is no lie. Antonio's ships are all at sea, true, but in four different ships sent to four different ports, therefore not all in the same place.
Antonio did not plan to risk his life. The suggestion was made by Shylock--as a jest it seemed--when Shylock pretended to be offering friendship. There was no real thought from anyone that he would actually require it until the ships were all lost and he claimed his bond.
Posted by chardin48 on October 22, 2008 at 7:42 PM (Answer #6)
Well in Act 1 Scene 1 when Antonio is talking about his sadness he made it clear that it was not because of his ships or anything of that matter.....after Salanio found out that he is not sad because of his ships he figured that Antonio was simply inlove or has found love and Antonio replied "Fie, Fie" meaning "Nonsense, Nonsense". Unless Shakespeare is trying to portray Antonio as a man who hides his emotions from others, Antonio has made it clear that he isn't inlove. Therefore Antonio cannot be inlove with Bassanio because Antonio denied the fact that he has found love or is inlove..vice versa. I hope this answers your question.
Posted by locoops012 on February 4, 2009 at 10:07 AM (Answer #7)
I think that Antonio had deep feelings for Bassanio and yes i think he was sad because Bassanio was in love with Portia but to say if he was homosexual it's still pending. Antonio risked his life for Bassanio which shows that they had something special.
Posted by angel4life on September 22, 2009 at 10:09 AM (Answer #8)
in these days, friendship is not as strong as it used to be. so, antonio's feelings toward Bassanio, were most likely sincere and friendship. theer is no friendship without love, so if antonio is bassanio's friend, he must love him! these days, it is awkward to tell someone of opposite gender, much more the same, that you love that person, but the bond between antonio and Bassanio was stronger than that! besides, maybe we look at it in the wrong context!
Posted by mykes on October 25, 2009 at 8:14 AM (Answer #9)
not actually, but he loves hm as a true friend or you can say as best friend,as he could spare his life(a pound of flesh)without any hesitation
Posted by dhanukasparsh on June 21, 2012 at 1:09 PM (Answer #11)
In a nice book of notes for the general reader by Laurie E. Maguire we find the idea that Shakespeare intended to suggest that Antonio MAY be homosexual. Add Samuel Johnson's "the poet of nature" comment and one might say that in nature, homosexuality is uncommon and therefore it is more likely that Antonio was a rival suitor of Shylock's wife Leah as the play is often listed as a romantic comedy.
Posted by muddy-mettled on September 11, 2012 at 4:48 PM (Answer #12)
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