• 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)

    casket, and finding loopholes in the will's provision that we never thought possible. Also, later on, whilst Bassanio is choosing a casket, Portia in nervous and fears losing him. She tells him 'I stand for sacrifice' (act 3 scene 2).

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

    Contrast to this is Shylock's greed for wealth, due to this account, when his daughter elopes with Lorenzo with all the money. About eighty per cent of the play is in verse and twenty per cent in prose. Comic and low status characters traditionally use prose.

  1. Feelings and opinions concerning different characters from the play 'The Merchant of Venice'.

    She tells him never to remove it. If he does, it will be "the ruin of your love" according to Portia. Portia's intelligence, independence and moral sense have been apparent before, but she's not been very involved so far. In Act III Scene IV this changes completely.

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

    Shakespeare has used emotive language in this statement as it stirs emotions, leaving both of the audience to feel sympathy for the prince. Perhaps the Elizabethan audience would have been less shocked by Portia's actions, because the society as a whole preferred pale complexion at the time, hence they wouldn't have liked the prince themselves.

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

    Shakespeare purposefully begins the conversation between Shylock, Salerio and Solanio mentioning Jessica, but the conversation is swiftly changed to talking of ducats and the bond, showing where Shylocks priorities lie. This resembles the fairytale story, where the princess runs away with the prince to get away from the evil family, usually a stepmother.

  2. 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.

  1. José Martínez Ruiz,"Azorín": La voluntad as a regenerational novel.

    Vieja.6 The prologue appears to have nothing to do with the protagonist. It is about the building of a church in Yecla, yet it is a symbolic prologue. Mart�nez Ruiz places this prologue before the protagonist. Antonio Azor�n is not introduced till later on in the next section of the

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

    Lancelot then adds to this, strengthening his argument, seeming more adamant, by observing that Shylock is 'the very devil incarnation'. This could be perceived in two ways: As Lancelot is called 'the clown,' was Shakespeare implying that even the people of the lowest status can see the negativity in Jews?

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