Antonio’s Soliloquy – Jason Li

This is a short scene designed to go between William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice act 1 and act 2.

Enter Bassanio, Antonio, Lorenzo and Gratiano

Antonio: My friends, by all means feel welcome,

Be seated and may the table be filled,


Gratiano: Ah, Cheered up have we,

Thy complexion grows fresh; the stale is no more,

With that same cheerfulness co-


Lorenzo: Yes, shall we feast now?


Antonio: We shall, tis a shame the Jew refused mine invitation,

For all should experience the livelihood of dinner.

30 minutes later

Gratiano: Many thanks Antonio, ne’re succumb to misery

We take our leave and return later


Bassanio: I have business with Antonio,

Fare ye well Gratiano, Lorenzo

Exeunt Gratiano, Lorenzo


Bassanio: Signor Antonio I pray thee, that foul animal,

He will doth much more.


Antonio:  Ha! Worry not. Bassanio, leave me to be,

For I need not sympathy.


Bassanio: As you please, ah! May I speak once more?


Antonio: Certainly friend.


Bassanio: I am grateful. The Jew mutters to himself,

He reeks of spite, time may be forgiving,

Speak to the Jew, I leave thee in peace.

Exeunt Bassanio

Antonio: I must ponder my misfortune with haste,

The mistake I have made is far too large.

The deed was not intended for myself,

Will my wealth ever return to mine hands?

The conflicts that may arise at sea,

Leaves me in a place of anxiety,

Bassanio, you will lead me to death,

The outcome that the future holds scares me.

My argosies must be swift and return,

To Venice. Or I will bear this Jew’s brunt.

Now, these Jewish dogs have mistreated me,

They have battered and bruised me to the bone,

They will have robbed me of my precious wealth,

We Christians have to bear the burden,

Of Jewish usury that deprives us,

He is my one and only enemy,

This Jew may take my flesh but not my faith,

I call him a dog and do so again,

Bassanio, thou hast disabl’d thy estate,

Now thou hast mine life thy hands,

For I was blind agreeing to the terms,

Of a deed that now threatens my life,

But what good are friends without hearts,

Whatever my dear friend Bassanio desires,

I shall be there to act his will,

My dear Bassanio, my dearest friend,

But thou hast sailed to fair Portia and Belmont,

I pray thee return to me, I hazard all I hath,

For thou love. Am I wrong?

Hast mine prayers been unheard?

Oh please bring light to my word,

My world in eternal darkness,

A world where you, Bassanio are the light.



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