Antonio: The Merchant of Venice
Antonio is the title character in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. When Bassanio asks him for money to impress Portia, Antonio wants to give it to him but cannot because all of his money is tied up in goods that are being transported by ship to ports where they will be sold. Out of kindness to Bassanio, he agrees to secure any loan Bassanio might get in the marketplace. Bassanio requests that loan from Shylock, a moneylender with whom Antonio is not on the best of terms.