Asked by sanu123736 | 7th Jun, 2015, 11:34: PM

Expert Answer:

Antonio is one of the main characters of the play ‘The Merchant of Venice’. He is a middle aged, unmarried man who is a friend of Bassanio. He appears to be a happy-go-lucky man who is known for his generosity towards his friends. In reality he is depressed. It is evident in the way he admits that he is overcome by melancholy and he cannot ascertain the cause for his sadness. Shakespeare presents him as a honourable man who would do anything for his friends. When he could not offer Bassanio some money to marry Portia, he agrees to undertake the risky task of being the guarantor of the loan. Although he is a benevolent soul, he appears to harbour a deep-seated hatred towards the Jews, Shylock in particular. This was typical of the Elizabethan- English society. But despite this, he honours the contract he had with Shylock. He agrees to part with a pound of his flesh because he had failed to repay the loan Bassanio had taken in his name.                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Answered by Sandhya Raghavan | 8th Jun, 2015, 06:52: PM

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