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

Can You See It

Extracts from this document...


Alicia Hanna 0602287 Shakespearean Drama Discuss the presentation of women in two of plays you have studied. Did Shakespeare have a problem with his daughters, Susanna, Hamnet and Judith? History does not relate the answer, but in his plays, the problem is certainly a major concern. In King Lear, Lear organizes a disastrous competition to see which of his daughters loves him most. At the end of his romantic comedy The Tempest, there is reconciliation between Prospero and his daughter Miranda. Here, however, I am going to look at four other daughters: Juliet, Portia, Jessica and Desdemona. Examining how far are they controlled by there fathers and how far protected? As well as, how each relationship reflect the position of women in Elizabethan society? In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is presented to us as a complex character. She is intelligent but na�ve, innocent yet rebellious and disobedient. Although, Juliet is only fourteen she speaks with the wisdom and insight of a mature and experienced woman. Initially, Her reasoning is rationale although her actions are often rash. In Juliet's first meeting with her mother and the nurse, Juliet shows herself to be a docile, dutiful child. She comes when she is called, responding respectfully to her mother: "Madam, I am here, / What is your will?" ...read more.


It would seem as though Portia's father through his will is still in control of his daughter's life even after his own encounter with mortality. He sees portion as his possession, and through the nature of his will he choose who the possession of his Portia is transferred to. It is difficult nonetheless, to conclude that term of the will were strictly to control Portia. It was his duty as a father to provide for and protect Portia who would be seen as she was the 'weaker sex'. He placed the picture of Portia in the casket of lead, showing that he wanted his daughter to find someone who would love her, and was not concern with her wealth, someone who would forgo silver or gold, and choose of the three lead. Portia's love interest Bassanio ends up being the suitor who chose the correct casket of lead, which held Portia's picture. When Bassanio spoke to Antonio the first words that Bassanio uttered, in describing Portia was concerned her wealth and then mentioned her beauty. In Act II Scene II he says, In Belmont is a lady richly left, And she is fair and, fairer than the word.8 This showed that even Bassanio, who chose the casket of lead, was motivated by possessing the gold that would accompany his marriage to Portia. ...read more.


The fate of disobedient Shakespearean women is often death, however, Jessica fate was quite different, she marries Lorenzo the man she loves, become an heiress to Shylock's possession and ends up in blissful Belmont as a result of her disobedience to the Jewish, villain Shylock. If Shylock had not been the villain in the Merchant of Venice Jessica's disregard for the principles of a model Elizabethan her fate would have been similar to the character of Juliet. 1 In Othello, the Moor of Venice she was presented as Cassio's lover. 2 The wife of Iago "the honest.". 3 A Shakespearean play written somewhere between the years of 1596 and 1598. 4 Daughter of Shylock "the villain" in the Merchant of Venice. 5 She was wife to Romeo, and daughter to Capulet in Shakespeare's tragedy of Romeo and Juliet 6 The daughter of Barbantio and loyal wife to Othello. 7 Act I Scence II, line 18-23, Merchant of Venice 8 Act I Scene II, line 161-162, Merchant of Venice 9 Act IV Scene I lines 304-307, Merchant of Venice 10 Act II Scene II line , Merchant of Venice 11 Act II Scene V, lines 28-36, Merchant of Venice 12 Act II Scene XI, lines 15-22,Merchant of Venice 13 Act III Scene I, lines 83-85, Merchant of Venice 14 Act III Scene I, line 32, Merchant of Venice ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. The play "The Merchant of Venice" is described as Romantic Comedy. One aspect of ...

    "I am as likely to call thee so again, spat on thee again, to spurn thee to..." which reinforces the Jewish case against Christians. Antonio faces the trial with resignation, "I am the tainted weather of the flock", which gives us the cue as to see him this way, but does not reveal his character.

  2. Write on Shakespeare's characterization of Portia in "The Merchant of Venice."

    Portia is a loving woman. She is an absolute lover. Her womanly nature is displayed by her love for Bassanio. Her love of him is deep and passionate, sincere and true, she asks Bassanio to wait sometime more before making his choice.

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

    What is even more amazing, is that Portia does win the case. It is a feat which not many could do without needing some sort of education in the matter. Instead of studying and reading books for years, she used her intelligence and her integrity, and kept her wits about her.

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

    She hands him a letter to take to Lorenzo, who is supposed to be a guest of Bassanio's that night. After Lancelot leaves, Jessica remarks, "Alack, what heinous sin is it in me To be ashamed to be my father's child!

  1. "All that glistens in not gold" Explore the theme of deception in the Merchant ...

    You wouldn't need to be too intelligent to understand the deception and they would have found it very humorous, despite its cruelty. It is interesting that despite the relative unimportance of this scene it still contains deception as its main theme.

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

    Bassanio's coronation as "lord, governor and king" continues as even more men step into the formerly female dominated world of Belmont. In lines 219-224 their guests are welcomed by Bassanio not Portia, who simply says, "So am I" when Bassanio speaks of his pleasure at their arrival.

  1. William Shakespeare was born in 1564, in the small town of Stratford. He wrote ...

    In the play Venice is made to look wealthy and a desirable place to be. This is to do with the trade routes crossing straight through Venice, carrying wonders from the East by land and West by sea. This is the reason Shakespeare sets the play in Venice, because at

  2. Women Struggling To Escape As A Theme In Cousin Kate , A Willing Mistress ...

    Hence, it is evident that Portia struggles to escape the bounds of her father?s will, and even though she is able to maintain to follow her father?s will, she plans to cheat so that none of her present wooers pick the right casket.

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