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Antonio

Twelfth Night

The Sadness of the Merchant

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In the opening lines of The Merchant of Venice, the young merchant Antonio is questioned by his friends about his sadness. His friends Salarino, Solanio and Gratiano attempt to determine why Antonio is sad. Antonio denies that his sadness is about his concern for his investments in merchandise at sea. When asked if his melancholy is because he is in love,
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Appearance and Prejudice

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One of Shakespeare’s most frequent themes is appearance versus reality. This theme manifests itself in different ways for different purposes. In Merchant of Venice (2.2.181), Bassanio says to Gratiano:

Thou art too wild, too rude and bold of voice—
Parts that become thee happily enough,
And in such eyes as ours appear not faults.
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Christians and Jews

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The first exchange between Antonio and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (1.3.116) reveals much about their characters, their motivations and the themes of the play. For example, Shylock is clearly less motivated by money and greed, the typical ingredients of antisemitic prejudice, than by anger at having been personally and publicly insulted by Antonio. And Antonio, who was previously shown to be a generous,
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Blind Fortune

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In The Merchant of Venice (2.1.23) the Prince of Morocco introduces the theme of blind Fortune, which plays in the fate of Antonio’s merchandise on the seas. It also plays into the question of being born a Christian or a Jew, fair-skinned or dark hued. The theme of fortune is also central to As You Like It (1.2.31),
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In sooth I know not why I am so sad

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Antonio
In sooth I know not why I am so sad.
It wearies me, you say it wearies you.
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,Epistrophe
What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn.
And such a want-wit sadness makes of meHyperbaton
That I have much ado to know myself.
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Act 1
Scene 1
Line 1

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The Sadness of the Merchant

You look not well, Signior Antonio

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Gratiano
You look not well, Signior Antonio.
You have too much respect upon the world.
They lose it that do buy it with much care.
Believe me, you are marvelously changed.
Antonio

I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano,
A stage where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.

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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 77

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The Sadness of the Merchant

And if it stand, as you yourself still do

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And if it stand, as you yourself still do,
Within the eye of honor, be assured
My purse, my person, my extremest meansAnaphora
Lie all unlocked to your occasions.Alliteration
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 143

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The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose

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The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.Simile

O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!Personification
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 106

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Signior Antonio, many a time and oft

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Shylock
Signior Antonio, many a time and oftHendiadys
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances.
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug
(For suff’rance is the badge of all our tribe).
You call me misbeliever, cutthroat dog,
And spet upon my Jewish gaberdine,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 116

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Christians and Jews

To perform an act whereof what’s past is prologue

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To perform an act
Whereof what’s past is prologue.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1

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Beseech you, sir, be merry

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Gonzalo, to Alonso
Beseech you, sir, be merry. You have cause—
So have we all—of joy, for our escape
Is much beyond our loss. Our hint of woe
Is common; every day some sailor’s wife,
The masters of some merchant, and the merchant
Have just our theme of woe. But for the miracle—
I mean our preservation—few in millions
Can speak like us.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 1

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Is not, sir, my doublet as fresh as the first day I wore it?

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Gonzalo, to Alonso
Is not, sir, my doublet as fresh as
the first day I wore it? I mean, in a sort.
Antonio
That “sort” was well fished for.
Gonzalo, to Alonso
When I wore it at your daughter’s marriage.

The truth you speak doth lack some gentleness
And time to speak it in.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 107

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Will you grant with me That Ferdinand is drowned?

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Antonio
Will you grant with me
That Ferdinand is drowned?
Sebastian
He’s gone.
Antonio
Then tell me,
Who’s the next heir of Naples?
Sebastian
Claribel.

We all were sea-swallowed, though some cast again,
And by that destiny to perform an act
Whereof what’s past is prologue

Antonio
She that is Queen of Tunis;
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 276

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I would not by my will have troubled you

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Sebastian
I would not by my will have troubled you,
But, since you make your pleasure of your pains,
I will no further chide you.

I can no other answer make but thanks,
And thanks, and ever thanks

Antonio 
I could not stay behind you. My desire,
More sharp than filèd steel,

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Source:
Act 3
Scene 3
Line 1

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