Antonio and Justice in Merchant of Venice

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Antonio and Justice in Act 5 of The Merchant of Venice In the first four acts of The Merchant of Venice, Antonio goes from a wealthy merchant with a good name to borrow credit to a man that has defaulted on his bond and faces losing a literal pound of flesh to satisfy the bond owed to Shylock . While most people think that Antonio gets his justice in Act 4 when he wins the favor of the court, I would argue that his true justice comes in Act 5. At the same time Portia also gets her justice on Bassanio and Antonio both in Act 5. At the beginning of The Merchant of Venice, Antonio’s first words in Act 1 show us his mental state and demeanor that follows throughout much of the rest of the play: In 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 me That I have much ado to know myself. (Shakespeare 7) Basically he is saying that he is sad and doesn’t know why he is so sad or what makes him feel that way. Situations only get worse for Antonio throughout the rest of the play, but finally in Act 5 we get a little glimpse of the true justice for Antonio. In Act 5 Antonio travels with his best friend Bassanio back to Belmont to meet Portia. Upon arriving Bassanio introduces Anotnio to Portia by saying “This is the man, This is Anotnio, to whomI am so infinitely bound” (Shakespeare 191). This gives Anotnio great pleasure to hear that Bassonio is so much indebted to him still, but Portia indicates that he too should be bound to Bassanio for what he did for him. Antonio replies “No more than I am well acquitted of “(Shakespeare 191). Here I feel he gets a jab in at Portia and tells her that yes, he was indebted to him, but because of their love Bassanio came to his rescue and now he
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