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The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice

Love Quotes Page 1

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

SOLANIO
Why then you are in love.
ANTONIO
Fie, fie! (1.1.2)

Antonio's "fie fie" is the Elizabethan equivalent of "Get off it, already." Interestingly, this doesn't explicitly deny that Antonio is in love, but if he's feeling any love at all, he sure isn't interested in talking about it with Solanio and Salerio.

Quote #2

PORTIA
Yes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think, so was he call'd.
NERISSA
True, madam; he, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes
look'd upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.
PORTIA
I remember him well, and I remember him worthy of thy
praise. (1.2.13)

Portia's first mention of Bassanio is measured and calm. She doesn't seem particularly stricken by love, but then again she might be understating. Also, she doesn't sound like a girl who was admiring Mr. Bassanio all over Belmont.

Quote #3

LANCELOT
Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of the
knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his own child. (2.2.11)

Lancelot never makes clear that he loves his father, but teases him instead. (And teases pretty cruelly, joking that Old Gobbo's son is dead.) It seems Lancelot takes advantage of his father's blindness and the fact that he doesn't really know him. This is a seemingly silly aside, but it's actually an interesting parallel to the relationship between Jessica and Shylock. We're never really clear on whether they love each other, but it is clear that Shylock doesn't really know who Jessica is. Jessica, like Lancelot, betrays her father, but while Lancelot does it in jest, Jessica's betrayal is much graver and seriously calls her love and loyalty into question.

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