The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare

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Antonio "is a good man," "he is sufficient," but "he hath an argosy bound to Tripolis." Is the difference between "to be" and "to have" of some relevance in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice?

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Being refers to the state of something. In this sense, Antonio's state is one which makes him a good and sufficient man. To have refers to the possession of something. In this sense, Antonio has a boat (argosy). So, yes, there is a difference between to be (a person's state) and the have (the act of possessing).

I really do not think that there is any relevance outside of the typical use of each of the words.

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