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The Merchant of Venice Friendship Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton Shakespeare edition.

Quote #4

I am as like to call thee so again,
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee, too.
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friends, for when did friendship take
A breed for barren metal of his friend? (1.3.140-144)

Okay, we get it. Antonio will never be friends with Shylock because 1) Shylock is a Jew and 2) Shylock charges interest on his loans, which Antonio thinks is wrong. Check out the themes of "Race" and "Wealth" for more thoughts on all this.

Quote #5

You shall not seal to such a bond for me!
I'll rather dwell in my necessity. (1.3.166-167)

Hmm. Bassanio protests against Antonio's offer to put up a pound of flesh to secure his loan with Shylock, but he goes ahead and lets his BFF take the risk anyway. Seems like Bassanio is kind of a user, don't you think?

Quote #6

A kinder gentleman treads not the earth.
I saw Bassanio and Antonio part.
Bassanio told him he would make some speed
Of his return. He answered "Do not so.
Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio,
But stay the very ripping of the time;
And for the Jew's bond which he hath of me,
Let it not enter in your mind of love.
Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughts
To courtship, and such fair ostents of love
As shall conveniently become you there."
And even there, his eye being big with tears,
Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,
And with affection wondrous sensible
He wrung Bassanio's hand—and so they parted.
I think he only loves the world for him. (2.8.37-52)

Again, Antonio's friendship for Bassanio seems boundless. Even now, he's risking his life to deliver his dear friend into the hand of another. It's certain that Portia will turn Bassanio's attention away from Antonio. Antonio is actually being self-sacrificing here, in the "if you love something, let it go" fashion. It seems Bassanio is Antonio's whole world. It's a lot easier to appreciate the nobility of Antonio's sacrifice for Bassanio when he isn't crying about it or busy pointing out that he deserves thanks for it.

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