Essay: Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice

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A very important and recurring theme in Shakespeare’s plays, The Merchant of Venice, is loyalty. Loyalty is a warm quality that includes devotion, faithfulness, and unswerving allegiance. Shakespeare’s work is still relevant today because we can compare ourselves to the characters and talking about the plays can possibly build friendships. Loyalty is important in today’s society as it help build the success and stability of any lasting relationship. In this case it is represented by Antonio. True loyalty in Shakespeare’s world lies between friends. Antonio is a vital character in this play as he showed the quality of loyalty to his best friend Bassanio. Loyalty can also be represented in two ropes tied together.

As shown in Act 1 Scene 1, Antonio is willing to do anything to help his friend, including loaning him the money to court Portia. Antonio’s loyalty to Bassanio seems boundless. He even risks his life to deliver his dear friend into the hand of another. Even though it’s certain that Portia will turn Bassanio’s attention away from Antonio, Antonio is self-sacrificing and is happy to do it. Antonio says in this scene:

ANTONIO
… My purse, my person, my extremest means
Lie all unlocked to your occasions.

Through this example, we can see that loyalty is definitely important, and Antonio’s example will certainly help us even in today’s society. Antonio’s willingness to risk himself to lend Bassanio the money he needs to court Portia is a sign of true friendship and especially loyalty. Therefore, Shakespeare is still relevant today.

In Act 1, Scene 3, Antonio tries to borrow money from Shylock to help his friend, Bassanio. Antonio even states how, until now, has avoided borrowing or lending where interest is involved. He justifies his change of heart by stating that he’ll do anything to help Bassanio. In Act 1, Scene 3, Antonio says:

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