The editors of the Moby™ Shakespeare produced their text long before scholars fully understood the proper grounds on which to make the thousands of decisions that Shakespeare editors face. The Folger Library Shakespeare Editions, on which the Folger Digital Texts depend, make this editorial process as nearly transparent as is possible, in contrast to older texts, like the Moby™, which hide editorial interventions. The reader of the Folger Shakespeare knows where the text has been altered because editorial interventions are signaled by square brackets (for example, from Othello : “ If she in chains of magic were not bound, ”), half-square brackets (for example, from Henry V : “With blood and sword and fire to win your right,”), or angle brackets (for example, from Hamlet : “O farewell, honest soldier. Who hath relieved/you?”). At any point in the text, you can hover your cursor over a bracket for more information.
I feel that another significant symbol in this play is Portia's ring. Although it is not mentioned in the symbols as given above, it is definitely an important symbol. A ring was given to Bassanio by Portia in Act III, Scene II, when Bassanio passes the casket test and is authorized to marry her. Portia gives Bassanio a ring stating that this ring signified their love and that she is handing over herself and her worldly possessions to Bassanio when she gave him that ring. However she lays the condition that the day that he loses, sells or gi... Read more →
In regards to familial and brotherly love, Antonio and Shylock illustrate the effects of possessing it and of possessing no love at all. Antonio is such a loyal friend to Bassanio that he loans him money once again. He wants to see his friend happy and is willing to risk his life to help Bassanio. In the end, even though he ends up with his life and his friend's life spared, he is still not happy and perhaps has realized that love between friends is not enough. In contrast, Shylock shows what it is like when one does not love or feel loved at all. When Shylock's daughter elopes, he is not concerned about losing her or about her safety; instead, he rants about his lost jewels. Similarly, after Act 4's trial scene, Shylock ends up with nothing. His daughter is gone for good; his business is gone, and he has been humiliated in front of all of Venice. Shakespeare seems to use him to teach that all the riches in the world are worth nothing, for if one loses his wealth and has no friends or family, he is completely ruined.