Why does Antonio agree to Shylock’s terms for the loan?

When Shylock states the terms he proposes for the loan, Antonio immediately accepts without any questions and agrees to offer a pound of his flesh if he cannot pay the loan back. Bassanio is the one to hesitate, urging his friend not to accept these dangerous terms, but Antonio is confident that the terms of the loan are irrelevant because he will easily be able to repay it. As he explains, “I do expect return / Of thrice three times the value of this bond” (I.iii.157-158). Because Antonio has always been prosperous and enjoyed good returns on his investments, he is lured into a false sense of security and does not worry about the risks he assumes. His intense devotion to Bassanio also makes him willing to accept almost any risk in order to help his friend, whom Antonio has an almost romantic obsession with.

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