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Act 1 Scene 1 Summary: Antonio says that he is feeling sad, but he doesn’t know why. Salarino and Solanio tried to comfort him. Antonio says that he is not unhappy because of his business or because of women trouble. Later, Bassanio visits Antonio to talk about wooing Portia. Characterization: Antonio - From this scene, we can see that Antonio is a very good friend. Not only is he loyal and caring, but he views all of his friends equally, and treasures all of them. He appreciates their concern and values their opinions. All of them are worthy in his eyes, even minor characters such as Salarino and Solanio. When Salarino and Solanio leave him to the company of Bassanio in act 1, they described Bassanio as a worthier friend of Antonio. However, Antonio says that “Your (Salarino and Solanio) worth is very dear in my regard. I take it your own business calls on you, and you embrace th’occasion to depart.” From this quote, we can see that Antonio does not consider Bassanio to be a worthier friend and is thus, unbiased in his friendships and treasures all of them equally. Also, when Bassanio speaks of his plan to court Portia, he immediately offered his help. This can be seen from “I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it and if it stand as you yourself still do within the eye of honour, be assured my purse, my person, my extremest means lie unlocked to your occasions.” From this quote, we can see that Antonio is very generous and benevolent. He is ready to lend a helping hand to his friends in need. Furthermore, he is not only willing to offer monetary assistance but in all aspects. This shows his sincerity towards his friendships.
Portia – From this scene, we can see that Portia is very well-renowned throughout the world. Her beauty and wealth attracts men from all over the world. This is evident from Bassanio’s description of her, “In Belmont is a lady richly left, and she is fair, and – fairer than word – of wondrous virtues… Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth; for the four winds blow in from every coast renowned suitors and her sunny locks hang on her temples like a golden fleece, which makes her the seat of Belmont Colcho’s strand, and many Jasons come in quest of her.” From this quote, we can see that not only is she beautiful, she also has good virtues and values. Her many suitors are likened to Jason who went on a long and arduous journey to obtain the Golden Fleece. Furthermore, she is rich and will soon to inherit a huge fortune. This description gives us the impression that she is the dream girl of many successful men and is unrivalled in terms of beauty, virtue and wealth. Plot: Bassanio only wants to court Portia for money – From this scene; we can see Bassanio only courts Portia for selfish monetary reasons. This is evident from “To you, Antonio, I owe the
This shows that he does not have true love for Portia and his care and concern for her is only as deep as her pockets. we can see that Bassanio is in debt and is planning to use Portia as a tool or a warranty to pay them off. Act 1 Scene 2 . he seems to be more concerned about Antonio than Portia. This also means that Portia’s love for him is only built on a lost cause. In fact. intelligence and good looks are only added benefits. His love is very superficial and her virtues.most in money and in love. From this quote. and from your love I have a warranty to unburden all my plots and purposes how to get clear of the debts I have owe”. She believes that Antonio is sincere about their relationship but this is not the case.