The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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Discuss the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. What does their friendship reveal about their characters?

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Walter Fischer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The relationship between Antonio and Bassanio in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is one of deep love and respect. These two characters have a bond that is unshakeable. As Act I of The Merchant of Venice begins, Antonio, the titular merchant, is engaged in conversation with Salarino and Solanio, two friends with whom both he and Bassanio are close. An early indication of the closeness of the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio is provided at the outset. As Antonio, Salarino, and Solanio speak, the latter two prepare to depart—but not without noticing that Bassanio approaches, prompting Solanio to remark, "Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman...." 

That something is troubling Antonio is apparent to all of his friends. Solanio and Salarino remark upon their friend's demeanor, and, now,...

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chiquiti90 | Student

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