Salerio is a well-connected merchant of Venice, and a friend of Antonio and Bassanio.
Owning at least one ship, he is convinced that worry about merchandise is the root of Antonio’s melancholy. With Gratiano, he helps Lorenzo abduct Jessica, but does not know where the two runaways have gone. He is very worried about Antonio’s investments, as he is deeply fond of the man and scared of Shylock, though completely unapologetic about his role in Jessica’s flight. He is sent to Belmont by Antonio to let Bassanio know of his bankruptcy and of Shylock’s insistence on the payment of the pound of flesh, and begs Lorenzo and Jessica to accompany him in this task.