The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice Isolation Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
ANTONIOIn 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,What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born,I am to learn;And such a want-wit sadness makes of meThat I have much ado to know myself. (1.1.1)
We don't yet know why Antonio is sad, but his mysterious proclamation sets him up as a generally melancholy character for the rest of the play. Furthermore, we learn that Antonio doesn't always have a rational explanation (at least one that he knows of) for how he feels.
PORTIAIf I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste asDiana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's will. (1.2.15)
Portia would prefer a life of isolation over disobeying her father's will. Still, given the guys she's looking at, it's no great loss not to marry. Portia is strong-willed and doesn't seem like a romantic; she bravely faces the possibility of dying old and alone.
SHYLOCKI will buy withyou, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and sofollowing; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor praywith you. (1.3.9)
Shylock is isolated from Christian society. He can engage with Christians in business dealings, and so he has a livelihood, but it's clear from this passage that he keeps his distance socially. He's a Jew in a Christian country, which explains the animosity we see from and toward him.