• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Antonio and Portia comparison - Scene 1 and 2

Extracts from this document...


Antonio is a wealthy, well known merchant in Venice. Antonio is not a member of aristocracy but his wealth is influential and has put him high in the social order of Venice. Portia is a heiress, who is clever as well as beautiful; she lives in the peace and harmony of Belmont as oppose to the busier more business orientated Venice. In Act 1 Scene 1, Antonio discusses his feeling about his merchandise at sea with Salarino, Salanio and later Gratiano and Bassanio; the idea of a disaster at sea, leaving Antonio with nothing foreshadows events to come. Antonio and Bassanio also discuss Portia, Bassanio realises that she has attracted the interest of many wealthy men and will need to act quickly to avoid loosing her. ...read more.


It is the foolishness of Bassanio and the generosity of Antonio that leads to Antonio's entrapment. Antonio is not the only person that likes Bassanio, Portia also expresses her interest in Bassanio in Act 1 Scene 2. Nerissa reminds Portia of a young Venetian soldier who had visited Belmont in her fathers time. Portia immediately remembers that this is Bassanio and tries to play down her interest in him. This discussion is interrupted by the arrival of the Prince of Morroco but it is long enough to show that Portia has feeling for Bassanio. Act 1 Scene 2 takes place in Belmont, Portia is seen to be distressed by not being able to choose her own husband although this was usual for ladies at this time. Portia discusses her situation with Nerissa, Nerissa seems to be Portia's confidante as well as her servant. ...read more.


Antonio does not demonstrate his intelligence in the first two scenes but his position in society could be a measure of this. For Antonio to acquire the money the money that he has from trading, he must have known or learnt some skills along the way. To conclude, Antonia and Portia are both affluent people although they have acquired their money in different ways, and live in different cities. They are also both powerful and intelligent and this attracts people; Antonio's power is derived from the knowledge and wealth he has gained from trading. Portia on the other hand is beautiful and although her wealth is inherited she is still intelligent. "Antonio exists in the brash, masculine world of Venice; Portia dwells in Belmont - a refined, feminine sphere. Despite this we note a certain connection between these two characters." In the light of this statement examine how shakespeare presents these two characters in the opening two scenes. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level The Merchant of Venice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level The Merchant of Venice essays

  1. Compare and contrast the different worlds and different values of Venice and Belmont as ...

    A Shakespearean audience would have made this link but in the 20th Century this idea may not be understood. The idea of marrying for money rather than love as Bassanio intends to do in scene 1 would have been familiar concept in the 16th Century.

  2. Who contributes more to The Merchant of Venice Shylock or Portia?

    Therefore she completely contradicts herself. When comparing the intelligence of Shylock and Portia, it is clear that Portia prevails. This can be judged by reviewing both of the characters most compelling speeches. Shylock's speech concerning the links between Jews and Christians is very impelling but not entirely logical.

  1. The Merchant of Venice

    Jew who, in this case is prepared to kill his own daughter for the sake a few ducats. But The Christians portrayal was just as bad as the Jewish man Shylock's portrayal. In truth I think that the play gave a worse portrayal of the Christian's because they ended up

  2. Show how Shakespeare employs tensions and oppositions to present conflicting principals and prejudices of ...

    This is not only a theme but also a moral of the story. Lancelot is a Christian and should hate Jews, but instead he is a trustworthy friend to Jessica, a Jewish girl. This is because he sees her as a nice and gentle young woman and comments, "most beautiful pagan, most sweet Jew" (II.iii.10).

  1. Discuss the presentation of the Christians in 'The Merchant of Venice'

    Portia shows no mercy towards him and continues to punish him further by saying that, not only does he receive no money or flesh but that he must give up all of his possessions and that the punishment for his crime, plotting to kill a Venetian, is death.

  2. An Exploration of the character Shylock in The Merchant of Venice

    In other areas of the play Shakespeare can be seen as using further preconceptions regarding Jews when creating Shylock to ensure that the character would be held in contempt by his largely anti-Semitic audience. In Act 1 scene 3 Shylock agrees to give Bassanio three thousand ducats provided if he

  1. My Perception of Portias Portrayal in the Merchant of Venice

    Even when she escapes her father's will through Bassanio's choice of the lead casket, she subjects herself immediately to her husband's authority - 'This house, these servants, and this same myself / Are yours, my lord's.' Ultimately, during the courtroom scene and ring scene she establishes control over her

  2. How has Radfords film version explored notions about value and culture in Shakespeares The ...

    Although the aforementioned notions all play a role in this aspect, it is much larger than that. Anti-Semitism is a theme that is continual and visible throughout Merchant of Venice, the original play, and is used as a major comedic element as well as the foundation of the play itself.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work