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Merchant of Venice Essay: Antonio’s Love for Bassanio

Antonio’s Love for Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice

Antonio feels closer to Bassanio than any other character in The Merchant of Venice. Our first clue to this is in the first scene when, in conversation with Antonio, Solanio says, “Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman, / Gratiano, and Lorenzo. Fare ye well: / We leave you now with better company” (i. i. 57-59). Once Antonio is alone with Bassanio, the conversation becomes more intimate, and Antonio offers an indebted Bassanio “My purse, my person, my extremest means” (137). We find out later that Bassanio needs money to woo Portia, a noble heiress who Bassanio intends to marry. And though Antonio is not in a position to loan money at the time, he does not disappoint Bassanio:

Neither have I money, nor commodity

To raise a present sum; therefore, go forth;

Try what my credit can in Venice do:

That shall be racket, even to the uttermost,

To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia. (124-128)

Antonio does not make these offers to any other character in The Merchant of Venice. In fact, there is only one scene in which Antonio is present and Bassanio not; in act 3 scene 3, and even then Antonio ends the scene with a plea for Bassanio: “Pray God, Bassanio come / To see me pay his debt, — and then I care not” (iii, iii, 35-36).

Antonio expresses love for Bassanio to him several times throughout the play (“You know me well, and herein spend but time / To wind about my love with circumstance” [i, i, 154]; “Commend me to your honourable wife: / Tell her the process of Antonio’s end; / Say how I loved you” [iv, i, 273-275]). But whether the love Antonio holds for Bassanio is either sexual or platonic is never overtly answered, which leaves speculation …

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…of Venice.”

Shakespeare Quarterly 37 1: 20-37.

Granville-Barker, Harley. “The Merchant of Venice.” Shakespeare: Modern Essays in

Criticism, Leonard Dean, ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1967.

Kahn, Coppelia. “The Cuckoo’s Note: Male Friendship and Cuckoldry in The Merchant

of Venice.” Shakespeare’s “Rough Magic”, Peter Erickson

The Mother and Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club

Mother and Daughter Struggle in The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, illustrates what life is like for many foreigners in America who are trying to give their child the opportunities they most likely did not have themselves as children. The story touches on a very common struggle in America, that between mother and daughter, in which the daughter never feels good enough for her mother. Also present is the struggle Jing-Mei has with herself.

Jing-Mei’s mother has her mind set on making her daughter a prodigy of some kind. She constantly presses Jing-Mei to do better and be better at whatever activity she participates, but why is she doing this? There are a couple of reasons, one of which is because she wants Jing-Mei to have opportunities she herself did not have growing up in China. She came to America after losing nearly everything, in hope of having a better life for herself and her family. To many immigrants, America is the land of opportunity. You can do anything or be anything if you put your mind to it. Well, Jing-Mei certainly wasn’t putting her mind to much of anything, so her mother took it upon herself to get her started on something.

First, there was Shirley Temple. Jing-Mei’s mother thought she could be the next Shirley Temple. Together, they’d ” . . . watch Shirley’s old movies on TV as though they were training films.”(Tan 491). Jing-Mei, with her mother’s help, was really trying to emulate this child star, but it still was not good enough.

Jing-Mei needed to be more than a prodigy. She needed to be better than any other American child because her mother had given her all of these opportunities. She could have been a …

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…Studies. 19.3 (Fall 1993): 597-614.

Ling, Amy. Critical Extract. Asian-American Women Writers. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1997. 85-7.

Schell, Orville. Critical Extract. Asian-American Women Writers. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1997. 82-3.

Shear, Walter. “Generational differences and the diaspora in The Joy Luck Club.” Women Writers. 34.3 (Tan Spring 1993): 193. Expanded Academic Index.

Souris, Stephen. “‘Only Two Kinds of Daughters:'” Inter-Monologue Dialogicity in The Joy Luck Club.” Melus 19.2 (Summer 1994):99-123.

Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club. New York: Ivy Books, 1989.

Willard, Nancy. Critical Extract. Asian-American Women Writers. Ed. Harold Bloom. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1997. 84-5.

Xu, Ben. “Memory and the Ethnic Self: Reading Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club.” Melus 19.1 (Spring 1994): 3-17.

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