What reason does Salerio give as the possible cause of Antonio's melancholy attitude?   

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the opening scene of the play, Antonio laments about his melancholy attitude and wonders why he has become so depressed lately. Salerio suggests that Antonio is worried about his merchant ships that are out to sea. Solanio joins in the conversation and comments to Antonio that he would also be depressed at the thought of his precious ships being tossed by the treacherous sea. Salerio goes on to mention that if he were in Antonio's situation, every little thing he did during the day would remind him of the possibility of losing his ships. Salerio says that blowing on his soup would remind him of the stormy winds, and that he would ponder whether or not his ship ran aground by simply looking at the sand in a hourglass. Salerio clearly believes that Antonio is in a melancholy mood because Antonio fears losing his merchant ships which are out on a treacherous sea.

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The Merchant of Venice

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