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The Merchant of Venice I believe that S T Coleridges phrase representation of men in all ages and all times applies to this play because I feel that the characters in this play even the female ones portray universal elements of the nature of man One of these elements is honor which Antonio displays bravely A second element is the cockiness so often associated with men this element got Antonio in a heap of trouble Another element is a mans loyalty to his true friends is great Bassanio and Gratiano proved this when he refused to let Antonio down Lastly the stereotype that men are less intelligent or witty than women is played out when Portia and Nerissa outwit their suitors and get them to give up their rings In Shakespeares time a mans honor was usually the only collateral he possessed in an issue Hence a man would want to maintain as much honor as he could Antonio made good on his word at all costs When it seemed that he had lost the wager with Shylock Antonio was prepared to part with a pound of his flesh to make good on his word However when the Duke pointed out that Shylock could take no blood or face worse consequences Antonio got of the hook The fact remains though that Antonio would have given his own flesh to assure that his honor would be protected When Bassanio asked Antonio to help him get a 3000 Ducat loan by backing him with his good credit he agreed When the two met with Shylock the moneylender Shylock was leery that all of Antonios money was tied up in merchant ship ventures Shylock then drew up a bond that called for Antonio to promise him the money by a certain day or then owe a pound of his flesh to Shylock Antonio sealed the bond knowing that his ships were in a risky venture because he
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