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

Act 3 Scene 2, Lines 25-185. Comment in detail on the language and imagery in this scene.

Extracts from this document...


7. Act 3 Scene 2, Lines 25-185. Comment in detail on the language and imagery in this scene. This scene in Belmont concludes the casket challenge left by Portia's father, and conveys the love and affection between Bassanio and Portia. As the scene opens, Portia pleads for Bassanio to delay before he chooses one of the caskets, as she fears the outcome, especially as she has already fallen in love with him. She asks him to "tarry" (Line 1), to "pause a day or two" (Line 1), to "forbear awhile" (Line 3), anything to keep him from possibly choosing the wrong casket. However, Bassanio is anxious to choose, and compares the suspense, before he chooses his casket, to living on the rack, a realistic method of torture at the time. "Let me choose, for as I am, I live upon the rack" (Line 25). Portia, who uses Bassanio's words and interprets the metaphor used, then skilfully and intelligently questions this anticipation and eagerness that Bassanio possesses. "What treason there is mingled with your love...I fear you speak upon the rack where men enforced do speak anything" (Line 28). Shakespeare allows both Bassanio and Portia to cunningly and cleverly question each other's motives by questioning and expressing words used by the other. ...read more.


This may present Portia's huge desire for Bassanio to choose correctly, but equally, Portia's belief that Bassanio, like the previous men, will choose incorrectly. Ironically, this presents Portia as being unsure that her true love will choose correctly, and therefore by her father's terms, would be unsuitable as a husband. Nevertheless, for Shakespeare, music adds a more dramatic aspect to the event, but is a huge hint for Bassanio from Portia that lead is the correct casket. "Tell me where is fancy bred, or in the heart or in the head? How begot, how nourished?" (Line 63). Most apparent from this song is that both "bred" and "head" rhyme with the correct casket; lead. Also, the song's lyrics encourage or warn Bassanio not to judge by external appearances, and therefore reject the silver and gold caskets. Additionally, the second verse of the song includes lyrics such as "it is engendered in the eyes, with gazing fed, and fancy dies". This also encourages Bassanio that love in the eyes is not ever lasting, which again, implies the correct choice is lead. Shakespeare uses the words in the song to show Bassanio as well as his audience, that lead is the correct choice, which also expresses the Portia's desire for Bassanio to choose correctly. ...read more.


"Yet look how far the substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow in underprizing it, so far this shadow doth limp behind the substance" (Line 127). At this point of the scene, Shakespeare presents nothing but the love between Bassanio and Portia, as the play has reached its romantic peak, presenting the long awaited union of Bassanio and Portia. Following the kiss between Bassanio and Portia, Portia commits herself to Bassanio and all she owns to her new husband. She also presents him with a ring, the symbol of their union. Following this symbol, Portia claims that Bassanio is to never "part from, lose, or give away" (Line 173). Bassanio then romantically promises that "when this ring parts from this finger, then parts life from hence: O then be bold to say Bassanio's dead" (Line 183). Both these promises from both Portia and Bassanio present the true love they feel, and are used as symbols by Shakespeare to represent the climax of the love story in the play. At this point of the play, Shakespeare presents the true love between Bassanio and Portia, as well as the love that is expressed in Belmont, the scene of the love story within the play. Shakespeare allows both Portia and Bassanio to express their linguistic skills using deep and descriptive imagery expressing their love and heightening the suspense that the casket challenge brings to the scene. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE The Merchant of Venice essays

  1. Describe the characters and relationships in act 1 scene 3 of

    Shylock exclaims that he doesn't want to be Antonio's enemy, and offers to forget about all the insults and charge no interest on the loan. All he asks is that they go to a notary and sign the deal, with the condition that if Antonio defaults on the loan, he

  2. "Portia is a mixture of both attractive and less attractive qualities." Explain.

    She must obey by his rules, even if she doesn't agree with it. "I may neither choose who I would, nor refuse who I dislike, so is the will of a living daughter curbed by the will of a dead father."

  1. (Act1 - scene 3)

    Antonio doesn't like or dislike Shylock, he doesn't respect him. (Act 1 - Scene 3) "Go to, then, you may come to me, and say, 'Shylock, we would have moneys'; you say so: You that did void your rheum upon my beard, And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur Over your threshold; moneys is your suit".

  2. Merchant of Venice- Scene by Scene summary & analysis

    Shakespeare draws on Francis Bacon's statement, "It is against nature, for money to beget money," when he portrays the Christians as unselfish givers of all they have. Shylock defends his taking of interest by quoting the passage where Jacob is given the striped lambs.

  1. Why does Bassanio choose correctly?

    And so though yours, not yours". Portia is portrayed as uneasy and is presented as being emotionally uncontrolled, a trait yet to be shown in the play. Previous to Bassanio's arrival, Portia is presented as a controlled, witty and clever woman, especially with her treatment of her past visitors.

  2. Some critics claim that the casket scenes are 'boring and predicable', Others say that ...

    what is in the casket and she is desperate to find out. When she does find out that that he has chosen the wrong casket by there being a picture of a "blinking idiot" in it she shows no emotion or disappointment.

  1. The Merchant of Venice - In Act 3 Sc 2, lines 219-325, how does ...

    This is the beginning of the relationship. And although they do eventually do come to love one and another, our first sight of them together is awkward and their exchanges seem very forced though they speak of true love. Portia's step down from her role as "queen" of Belmont and

  2. How does Shakespeare make this passage from Act 3 Scene 1 dramatic and ...

    Shakespeare uses an extended metaphor to show how Jews are the same as Christians. Furthermore, the use of lists by Shakespeare suggest an emotional out pour from Shylock, as though he wishes to spit it out. In this section, Shakespeare uses ten rhetorical questions to emphasise and create an even more dramatic and powerful argument.

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