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The Merchant of Venice Love Quotes

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

Quote #1

Why then you are in love.
Fie, fie! (1.1.47-48)

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

Yes, yes, it was Bassanio—as I think, so was he
True, madam. He, of all the men that ever my
foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a
fair lady.
I remember him well, and I remember him worthy of thy
praise. (1.2.115-121)

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

Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might
fail of the knowing me. It is a wise father that
knows his own child. (2.2.73-75)

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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