What is the dramatic importance of Bassanio?

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Bassanio's character is dramatically important to the play because his decisions drive the plot and his personality compliments many of the themes throughout the play. Bassanio initially asks his close friend Antonio to borrow money to finance his expensive journey to Belmont, where he plans on winning Portia's heart and becoming wealthy. Without Bassanio asking Antonio to fund his trip, Antonio would not have to ask Shylock for a loan or agree to his unconventional terms. Bassanio also embodies and emphasizes the themes of friendship, love, generosity, and devotion. After choosing the correct casket, Bassanio receives the news of Antonio's fate and illustrates his love/devotion by immediately leaving for Venice. Fortunately, Portia follows her husband to Venice and ends up saving Antonio's life. Overall, Bassanio's character helps drive the plot of the play while simultaneously emphasizing the themes of love, friendship, and generosity.

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