Why is the young man compared to "his grandsire cut in alabaster"?

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In the opening scene of the play, Antonio is depicted as a depressed, melancholy man and his friends Salario and Solanio attempt to discover the cause of his sad attitude. While both men guess that Antonio is worried about his merchant ships at sea or that unrequited love is the cause of his melancholy mood, Antonio insists that neither is the cause of his sad disposition. After Salario and...

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