This is an essay on the topic of religious presence in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Essay by mmsandhuHigh School, 10th gradeA+, April 2004

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A Comraderie of Two Christians


Mandeep Sandhu

Expository Essay on

The Merchant of Venice

English 10-1 IB, Per. 2

June 5, 2003

1168 Words

A Comraderie of Two Christians

In William Shakespeare's romantic comedy, The Merchant of Venice, various themes are woven within the plot by the writer's expertise. The very first theme noticed by many readers is the theme of friendship. Though many friendship themes operate throughout the story, the most evident and important kinship is that of Antonio and Bassanio, the two Christian friends. The strong bond between the merchant and his friend is enabled mostly through the personality of Antonio. Antonio's friendly love towards Bassanio consists of care and respect. Similarly, the same is shown from Bassanio, along with loyalty. Furthermore, Antonio demonstrates generosity, respect, and a certain degree of self-sacrifice towards his friend.

Antonio has much care and respect for his friend Bassanio. At the beginning of the play, Antonio waits until all of his friends are gone to inquire about Bassanio's love.

"Well, tell me now, what lady is the same/ To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage/ That you today promis'd to tell me of?" (1, i, 119-121). The excerpt reveals how Antonio respects Bassanio's privacy and wants to ensure that Bassanio's intentions are kept concealed until he wants to disclose them. Moreover, through Salerio and Salanio, we learn that Antonio does not want Bassanio to quickly return from Belmont just for his sake:

He answer'd, 'Do not so/ Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio/ But stay the very riping of the time/ And for the Jew's bond which he hath of me/ Let it not enter in your mind of love...'/And even there, his eye being big with tears/ Turning his face, he put his hand behind him/ And with affection...