Money in The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice, a play by William Shakespeare, is about a Jewish moneylender, Shylock, who seeks revenge against the Christian merchant, Antonio. This play also tells about the love between Bassanio, a gentleman from Venice, and Portia, a wealthy heiress from Belmont. The only way Bassanio can marry Portia is by borrowing money, three thousand ducats to be exact. Bassanio then asks Shylock for the three thousand ducats. This loan, however, would be on the credit of the Christian merchant Antonio. In order for Bassanio and Portia to live happily together, then, they would have to face many obstacles in which money is the main factor.
In the first scene of the play, Bassanio tells Antonio of a woman, Portia, whom he met at Belmont. Bassanio tells Antonio how deeply in love he is with her and that if only he could appear as a wealthy aristocrat, then he would be able to convince Portia to marry him.
Bassanio then asks Antonio if he can borrow money from him. Not even one scene into the play, money already is a factor in order for Bassanio and Portia to live happily together. Antonio then replies with, "Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at sea; Ã¢ÂÂ¨Neither have I money nor commodityÃ¢ÂÂ¨To raise a present sum: therefore go forth; Ã¢ÂÂ¨Try what my credit can in Venice do" (I.I.177-80). These lines from Antonio show what good of a friend he is to Bassanio. Although he does not have any money to give Bassanio, Antonio still gives Bassanio his permission to borrow money from Shylock on behalf of his good credit, despite the fact that a pound of his own flesh is...