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Detailed analysis of Characters in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Learn all about how the characters in The Merchant of Venice such as.
Table of contents

Tools of Characterization.

The Merchant of Venice | Study Guide

Click the character infographic to download. How to Play ShylockIt's a twist on "don't hate the player; hate the game.

The Merchant of Venice

Antonio is a rich Venetian merchant, Bassanio's BFF, Shylock's archenemy, and the guy who puts up a pound of flesh as collateral so Bassanio can borro Translation: Por Bassanio is Antonio's best pal and the lucky guy who lands Portia, the richest and cutest girl in Belmont. The thing to know about Bassanio is that Jessica is Shylock's only daughter.

She breaks her dad's heart by running off to marry a Christian Lorenzo and helps herself to her dad's ducats Lorenzo is pals with Antonio and Bassanio. More important, however, he's the guy who hits the jackpot when he elopes with Jessica. Remember how Jessica loaded herself up with her dad's ducats and Graziano is a friend of Antonio and Bassanio. He's also quite the party animal. When Bassanio travels to Belmont to win Portia, Graziano wants to tag along, but Bassanio warns him to behave himse When it is his turn to show mercy to Shylock, he insists on two conditions that Shylock convert to Christianity and that Shylock bequeath everything to Lorenzo at his death.

Character sketch of Antonio - The Merchant of Venice

Bassanio naturally demurs, but Antonio insists that he give the ring; so he does. At the end of the play, when Portia reveals her disguise and shows Bassanio the ring, she gives it to Antonio to give back to Bassanio, thus underlining for her husband that henceforth she, not Antonio, is the primary person in his life.


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But he has other qualities, too, that make Porita as well as Antonio love him. In the court scene, Bassanio does his best to fend off Shylock, offering him not only more than the original amount of the loan, but his own body as well 4. He offers even to sacrifice his beloved wife to save Antonio 4.


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Reluctant though he is to surrender the ring that Portia gave him, he nevertheless lets Antonio persuade him to do so, erring yet again. He thus stands in need of instruction, which his wife provides at the end of the play. He accepts that instruction with a good grace and a little humor, showing his true mettle once again.

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Portia is the heroine of the play. She can also be somewhat arrogant, as evidenced by her attitude toward her other suitors in 1. She may also be bit of a racist 2. Her appeal to Shylock to show mercy is an extremely eloquent statement on the nature of this virtue 4. That her speech fails to move Shylock says more about him and his determination to commit murder than it does about her ability to persuade.

When she shows that she, too, can be adamant in insisting that he get no more than the justice he has been demanding, that is, the specific terms of the bond.

Merchant of Venice Character List

Throughout the court scene, Portia shows her poise and ability to deal with men of different types. She teaches him a good lesson, and while she is about it, bestows gifts upon both Lorenzo and Antonio, bringing the play to a happy conslusion, at least as far as the Christians are concerned. Like her mistress, she has a keen wit and ability to handle difficult situations. When Portia complains about feeling low, Nerissa reminds her lady how well off she really is. In the same scene she teases her mistress about her undesirable suitors and only afterward tells her that they have all decided to leave with-out choosing any of the caskets.

She is a sprightly woman, as she shows in her argument with Gratiano in 5. To accomplish her goal, she is even willing to abandon not only her home but even her religion to marry a Christian.

Merchant of Venice Characters | GradeSaver

Launcelot Gobbo. He and Jessica have a friendly relationship see 2. Express your opinions.

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