Merchant of Venice

Explain in detail, how the first scene of the play justifies the themes of:- (i) fidelity (ii) pretence (iii) display of wealth ?

Hints given in the question

Fidelity- Antonio's friend stay by him

Pretence - Antonio finds it difficult to play a part, to act or hide his true feelings.

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Your examples are correct. Antonio, a merchant, is in a melancholic state of mind and unable to find a reason for his depression. His friends Salerio and Solanio attempt to cheer him up by telling him that he is only worried about his ships returning safely to port. Antonio, however, denies that he is worried about his ships and remains depressed. His two friends leave after Bassanio, Graziano and Lorenzo arrive. Graziano and Lorenzo remark that Antonio does not look well before exiting, leaving Bassanio alone with Antonio.

Bassanio informs Antonio that he has been prodigal with his money and that he currently has accumulated substantial debts. Bassanio reveals that he has come up with a plan to pay off his obligations by marrying Portia, a wealthy heiress in Belmont. However, in order to woo Portia, Bassanio needs to borrow enough money (display of wealth) so that he can act like a true nobleman. Antonio tells him that all his money is invested in ships at sea, but offers to borrow money for him.