Antonio’s role in “Merchant of Venice” mirrors various aspects of our society :

By : kainat

I am Kainat, a current student of BS enrolling in modern languages at karakorum international university of Gilgit-Baltistan.

In this study, I aim to explore the Antonio’s character as a reflection of our society and modern times. Antonio is one of the major character in the play “Merchant of venice” written by 16th century well known dramatist, William Shakespeare. Let’s examine Antonio’s personality and find connectivity between him and modern times with a quotation of famous person ; Morihei Ueshib says, ” loyalty and devotion leads to bravery, bravery leads to a sprit of self-secrifice, the sprit of self-secrifice creates trust in the power of love”.

Antonio is a complex and multifaceted character developed by William Shakespeare. In fact, he mirrors various aspects of our society. In Shakespeare’s play, Antonio encompasses some of the themes and characteristics that resonate with ccurrent society. we can find various personalities in modern times that having characteristics, atitude, actions and behavior like Antonio’s character.

One feature of Antonio that throws back our society is his role as a merchant . He is enormously submerge in the world of trade and wealth. Showcasing the industrialism and the pursuit of wealth that is widespread in our societies today. Antonio’s readiness to engage in risky ventures and his dependency on borrowing for his business venture parallel the risk taken by modern day business executives. We can also find that Antonio as a Christian Merchant depicts persuade societal perspectives of the time. This can be related to the ongoing struggle with the bias and favoritism base on identity, race,culture, religion and sexual preference. His desire to lend money without any profit endures his values or prestige and financial success. This aspect can compare to economic inequality hindered to our society where a small percentage of people grasp a notable portion of wealth and opportunities, other stumble to make ends meet. The play alerts us to consider ethical suggestions of economics distinctness and the liability of entitlement towards the less fortunate.

Furthermore, Antonio’s relationship with other characters emphasize societal dynamics. His closeness with Bassanio exemplifies the bond of loyalty and friendship that is appreciated and highly valued in our society. As this writing progresses we can find different layers of antonio character as his steady and unchnage support for Bassanio , including his willingness to take up money on his behalf show the selflessness and trust that we often see in our friendships.

At the same time, Antonio’s treatment of Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, uncovers societal injustice, unfairness and social discrimination. Antonio’s derogatory observed misbehave of Shylock explore the presence of sectarianism and antisemitism that obtain different forms within contemporary world. This depiction provokes to examine our own selfishness, inequality ,discrimination and biases. Antonio’s treatment of Shylock raises questions about the consequences of intolerance and the importance of grasping varieties inclusivity. Additionally struggle with identity and self reflection resonates with the pursuits for self-discovery and own fulfillment that many people meets in modern times. His philosophical digression and existential examination prompt us to consider the aim and meaning of our existence, our place or role in society and the quest of joy and happiness.

In Shakespeare’s work, Antonio character showcases several traits and characteristics that resembling the individuals of our society today. Antonio is depicted as a successful merchant who up hold a wish to take risks and serve in enventures to support others. I can prove this by giving an example from our society. There are many renowned business man in our society like Bill Gates and Elon Musk, who provide funds and influence to address world issues and engage in charitable or humanitarian activities like selflessness nature of Antonio.

By seeing Antonio’s action in the play, we examine that friendship needs loyalty and sacrifices. So I can claim that friendship have a high rank in our society. The Antonio’s character expresses the importance and value of true friendship. Not everyone can bear to put their lives In risks for others like Antonio. Similarly there exists many people in our society that are always ready to sacrifice there self for their friends without any cost. Their hearts are full of true love . So, it raises a question about the extent to which we are willing to go for the people we care about and sacrifices we are willing to make for their wellbeing.

Antonio’s trials in the play raise questions about the nature of justice and the equality of legal system. His life is full of hazards and insecurity when he falls apart or fails on his bond with Shylock. This thing is relatable to society ongoing discussions and debates about the effectiveness and honesty and justice of legal system. It enforce us to reflects on the principles of equality, impartiality, humanity justice, mercy and the need for reform in our own legal system. We also find Antonio character having traits of community leader as Antonio’s role as a respected member of his community , known for his fairness and generosity or integrity, can be comparable to several community leaders in today’s time who play a vital role in bridging gaps, resolving conflicts and promoting social cohesion within their communities.

In our society many great personalities provide their statements about Antonio that reveals the importance of friendship, loyalty and bravery. I mention some of the statements of great personalities such as, Nilson Mendala says, “Antonio battle against prejudice remind us to stand up against discrimination and cultivate a society of acceptance”, Similarly Malala Yousafzai also states,”the resilience and determination exhibited by Antonio symbolizes the indomitable human spirit and its capacity to overcome obstacles”. Maya Angelou mentions “Antonio’s story teaches us the value of friendship and the length one is willing to go for their love ones”.

In conclusion, the Antonio’s character in Shakespeare’s play bounce back our society through his collaboration in trade and wealth . The mobility of friendship and loyalty , the portrayal of bias and social discrimination and his personal journal of self reflection . Shakespeare timeless depiction of Antonio serves as a mirror allowing us to reflects on various aspects of our own society and individual lives. The interesting story of Antonioni’s character portrays a theme and message of devotion, loyalty, sacrifices and struggle.

Lastly, I conclude this study with a hope that this exploration work as a reminder to encounter the importance of Shakespeare’s works in our daily life . William Shakespeare timeless works become a root of sagacity and facilitates the individuals to understand the happenings of the contemporary world .

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