Merchant of Venice

Act one Scene one, Bassanio's Childhood

What is the purpose behind Bassanio mentioning his Childhood memories to Antonio in Act one Scene One?

" In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,
I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
The self-same way with more advised watch,
To find the other forth, and by adventuring both
I oft found both: I urge this childhood proof,
Because what follows is pure innocence.
I owe you much, and, like a wilful youth,
That which I owe is lost; but if you please
To shoot another arrow that self way
Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,
As I will watch the aim, or to find both
Or bring your latter hazard back again
And thankfully rest debtor for the first. "

Asked by
Last updated by ARATRIK C #551804
Answers 2
Add Yours
Best Answer

Bassanio is using a childhood memory as a metaphor or analogy on how he can repay Antonio for his financial help. He implores Antonio to help him one last time. He promises Antonio that he will follow this investment more closely this time in order to repay him.

Bassanio places a childhood instance before antonio which he uses as a metaphor to mean that he presently seeks another loan from Antonio by which he claims to repay the 2nd loan and retrieve the first loan too.


Merchant Of Venice