Merchant of Venice

Act 1 Scene 2

How does Act 1 Scene 2 show a mood of melancholy, anxiety and suspense

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Portia, the wealthy Belmont heiress, is like Antonio. Both are depressed and unhappy characters in the opening scenes. The reasons for their melancholy, although never directly expressed, are due to their self-absorption. And as with Antipholus in The Comedy of Errors, it is only by taking a huge risk (or both) that they will be able to overcome their depression. For Portia, this risk taking can be seen in her love for Bassanio, which will require her to risk her entire inheritance in order for her to win him. For Antonio, the risk is even greater; namely a pound of flesh, representing his very life.