My Opinion: Merchant of Venice

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In William Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, Bassanio is portrayed as a character who is determined, loyal, and materialistic. His determination is shown when he decides to court Portia despite not having sufficient funds. He uses his determination to convince Antonio to lend him the money he needs. However, his motivation for pursuing Portia is mainly her wealth, making him a materialistic person. Bassanio’s loyalty is evident when he leaves his newlywed wife to help his friend Antonio in his time of need. He values his friendship and loyalty to his country, which he refers to as ancient Roman honor. Overall, Bassanio’s character is complex, showing different sides of his personality throughout the play.

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I think that Bassanio is depicted as a determined, loyal, and materialistic character in the play The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.

Bassanio demonstrates his determined nature when he is initially confronted with the notion of pursuing Portia. Despite facing the obstacle of insufficient funds, he does not allow it to deter him. He employs his determination to present a compelling argument to Antonio, stating, “but if you please to shoot another arrow that self way…” However, underneath this determination lies his hidden motive of acquiring wealth through marriage to Portia. This focus on her riches highlights his materialistic nature, overshadowing her numerous other admirable qualities such as intelligence.

Bassanio’s primary motivation seems to be wealth rather than beauty when he describes Portia as “a lady richly left and she is fair…” This materialistic mindset is evident. However, Bassanio’s loyalty towards his friend Antonio becomes apparent towards the end. He leaves his newlywed Portia to assist Antonio, who is his “dearest friend to me, the kindest man…the ancient Roman honor more appears then any that draws breath in Italy.” In mentioning the ancient Roman honor, Bassanio is referring to his loyalty to his friend and country. Despite just getting married and ideally staying with his wife, Bassanio believes his loyalty should remain with his dearest friend and help him in this troubling situation.

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