The characters in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, love money so much they will go to great lengths for it, even if that means that they have to choose money over their religion or friends. On the other hand, one character chooses friendship over money and will go to an even greater length to keep it. When Antonio decides to borrow three thousand ducats from Shylock to help pay for his best friend, Bassanio’s trip to see Portia, a very wealthy woman, he must be able to pay Shylock back or he will have to pay a gruesome punishment. Throughout Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice greed is highlighted through the relationships of characters, Shylock and Antonio, and Bassanio and Antonio, as a result they are torn apart by this trait.
Antonino is a good businessman, but all of his ships are out at sea, therefore he has no revenue coming in, also due to the fact that he loans money to his friends without interest. In the viewpoint of Antonio, he is putting his friends and family before money. The only catch is, he needs to get his hands on some money so he can help his best friend go on a voyage to pretty much save his life. In this situation Antonio turns to a much hated rich jew, Shylock. The jew tells Antonio that if he does not repay the three thousand ducats, he requested, he will be at stake for one pound of his flesh. The only problem is that Antonio thinks that Shylock is saying the deal in a joking manner but Antonio is vastly mistaken.
Bassiano is in love with money so much, and cares way too much about it that he is willing to put his best friend’s life on the line for it. Bassano lives in a way like a rock star that goes around using bad checks every where. Antonio, who is his best friend, is working on getting money for him because, Bassano needs money to go on a voyage to get a chance at marrying Portia. Bassiano wants to marry Portia because he is not wealthy at all and is in a lot of debt with numerous people and Portia has a lot of money therefore, if he marries Portia he can use that money to pay off his debts and he also gets an exceptionally pretty wife in the process. Here is an excerpt from the play portraying Bassanio's correlation between Portia and money; “locks hang on her temples like a golden fleece”.
Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued To Cato's daughter,
Brutus's Portia; Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth; For
the four winds blow in from every coast. Renowned suitors, and
her sunny locks hang on her temples like a golden fleece,
which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strand, and many
Jasons come in quest of her. (1.1.6).
Shylock is a rich jew who loans money, and charges interest on the money that he loans to make a sustainable profit. Shylock did not choose this job out of choice; as a jew the options for jobs were very limited, due to the hatred of the Jewish community. This job was the most desirable job for him, although he