The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare
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In The Merchant of Venice, is Antonio in love with Bassanio?

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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.

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