Read The Merchant of Venice‘s ‘I Am Arm’d And Well Prepared’ monologue below with a modern English translation and analysis:
Spoken by Antonio, Act 4, Scene 1
I am arm’d and well prepared.
Give me your hand, Bassanio: fare you well!
Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you;
For herein Fortune shows herself more kind
Than is her custom: it is still her use
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow
An age of poverty; from which lingering penance
Of such misery doth she cut me off.
Commend me to your honourable wife:
Tell her the process of Antonio’s end;
Say how I loved you, speak me fair in death;
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Repent but you that you shall lose your friend,
And he repents not that he pays your debt;
For if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
I’ll pay it presently with all my heart.
‘I Am Arm’d And Well Prepared’ Monologue Translation
I’m fortified and mentally prepared. Give me your hand, Bassanio. Farewell! Don’t grieve that I’ve fallen to this state for your sake. In this, I’m more fortunate than most men. Fortune usually lets the wretched man outlive his wealth to endure years of poverty with hollow eyes and wrinkled brow. I’ve been spared that lingering misery. Remember me to your dear wife. Tell her the story of Antonio’s death; tell her how much I loved you – speak well of me, and when the tale has been told ask her to judge whether Bassanio was once dearly loved. Regret only that you will lose your friend, while he doesn’t regret that he paid your debt. If the Jew cuts deeply enough I’ll pay it immediately, with all my heart.
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