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

In the Merchant Of Venice, to what extent does Shakespeare provide critique of the constancy upon women at the time ? What does he conclude as to women's role in nature by the end of the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In The Merchant Of Venice, To What Extent Does Shakespeare Provide Critique Of The Constancy Upon Women At The Time ? What Does He Conclude As To Women's Role In Nature By The End Of The Play ? In the merchant of Venice Shakespeare has presented three main women characters. These three characters are, Portia, Jessica and Nerissa. Each of these characters come with a different area of society. Women in the time this was set, were not aloud to do anything. They were treated badly, and couldn't chose there own decisions. Shakespeare has made this play to show people in those days what it would be like if women had control of themselves. Shakespeare has made the portrayal of women in this play very different compared to other plays. He has made the women just like men and as well of having control of themselves they have control of the men as well. Shakespeare has put in two perfect women in everyway and then has put a thief. I think he did this to show which women would be treated better and which women would have a better life. ...read more.

Middle

Portia uses her wit to convince Bassanio to surrender the ring that he vowed that he would never part with. Although Portia is kind, and innocent, she is very stubborn even towards her husband and she sticks to what she wants. Shakespeare has made Portia triumphant over men. Whose beauty, intelligence, quick wit and high moral stand out. She is known throughout the world for her beauty, and she is able to handle any situation with her sharp wit. Nerissa is a sweet, simple woman who helps Portia with all of her needs. Nerissa is not just a maid towards Portia, she is a friend and an adviser. When Portia questions her father's requirement, Nerissa replies. "Your father was ever virtuous: and holy men at there death have good inspirations. Therefore the lottery that he hath devised in these three chests of gold, silver and lead, whereof who chooses his meaning chooses you, will no doubt never be chosen by any rightly but one who you shall rightly love". From looking at this conversation, I feel that both women have similar intelligence and that Portia is very trustworthy towards Nerissa. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jessica is a totally different character to Portia and Nerissa, as she has total control of herself. She is like a man, but more, as she not only controls herself, she controls her father. Shakespeare has made the portrayal of women very interesting, compared to the men. He has made the women trustworthy, considerate, cunning and helpful. The women in this play seem to be better off then men, as they are all intelligent. Portia and Jessica both defeated Shylock, as Portia was cunning and her sharp wit made Antonio win the trial. And Jessica decided to leave Shylocks bad ways, and do what she thought was best. Out of all of the three women Portia had the biggest role of them all. Portia was wise, cunning, helpful, trustworthy and had a sharp wit. All of these put together make a women of perfection. I think that Shakespeare wanted to make a different selection of women, so that you can see there differences. All of the women in the play were very kind and helpful to each other. Shakespears portrayal of women was the opposite of what it was in the days he made this play. He has made the women better off then the men, just to prove that women and men have the same intelligence, and that women can control themselves. ...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. Peer reviewed

    Write about the role and character of Portia in the play.

    3 star(s)

    We have already seen hints of her feeling towards Bassanio, when in act 1 scene 1, Bassanio boasts about having received 'fair speechless messages' from her eyes, and When Bassanio arrives, Portia proves herself to be highly resourceful, begging the man she loves to stay a while before picking a

  2. to what extent can the Merchant of Venice be seen as a fairytale

    Shylock tells Antonio that ' you spat on me Wednesday last,/ You spurned me such a say, another time/ You called me dog' and yet you can ask me for money showing Antonio that he should treat Shylock as an equal because you never know when you will need help.

  1. What was Shakespeare's representation of women and how does he show this in the ...

    (Act 3 scene 2 line 166 - 167) Towards the end of the play Shakespeare shows us that women were not respected - when Portia had to dress as a man to gain admiration in the courtroom. But this imaginative act works when Portia wins the case showing that the shackles of patriarchal society bind not all women.

  2. The Merchant of Venice - how does the use of language style and structure ...

    This would satisfy the Elizabethan audience but a modern audience would not be neutral with this sentence. In the end justice was defeated at the jaws of victory. Portia had cleverly triumphed but the real question is, did she practice upon what she has preached " the quality of mercy".

  1. As we watch and read The Merchant of Venice, our feelings and opinions change. ...

    She describes Neapolitan prince as a "colt" and declares that "his mother played false with a smith." This is gravely insolent since she represents him as illegitimate; insulting not only him but his mother! Next she expresses that "(she would)

  2. To what extent does 'The Merchant of Venice' reflect the anti-Semite feelings of the ...

    - His Jewish heart.' This indicates that Antonio believes there is a difference between a Jew's heart and a Christian one, (which is pure and good), therefore Shylock is abnormal, and someone who has bad intentions. For example, Satan. Shylock is likened to a devil many times during the play.

  1. How is Shylock presented in ''The Merchant of Venice''? To what extent would the audience sympathise

    Not only does it make him feel insecure, it also reduces him to something less than human. On the other hand, there are certain quotations and actions that make us hate Shylock. Shylock hates Antonio obviously because he is a Christian and he lends money for gratis.

  2. Explore the ways in which Shakespeare makes Act 1.1 of Merchant of Venice ...

    Shakespeare writes, ?Your mind is tossing on the ocean; /There, where your argosies with portly sail, /Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood.? Shakespeare uses the metaphor and image of a mind tossing on the ocean, to emphasise the fact that Antonio is worrying about his ships out at

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