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

The Merchant of Venice

Extracts from this document...


The Merchant of Venice Coursework 'In Belmont is a lady richly left, And she is fair and, fairer than that word, of wondrous virtues.' Is this an adequate description of Portia? In the Merchant of Venice, Portia plays a relatively a big part, which is unusual for a Shakespearean play in which women are given the more inferior roles. Not only does she find her suitor and new husband, Bassanio, but she also saves Antonio's life. The description in the title paints a picture of only a rich lady and little else is noticeable about Portia like her intelligence and depth. She shows how she can manipulate people when she goes to Venice, but doesn't severely hurt the characters. The first we hear of Portia is that she is a beautiful and wealthy woman by Bassanio. The Prince of Morocco calls her "the fairest creature northward born" She is the news of her beauty and wealth all over the world and men from different countries come in the hope of getting married to her. To get married to her, princes from Aragon and Morocco came. ...read more.


She shows courage and cleverness moreover her arguments are very intelligent. She speaks forcefully and powerfully of mercy, "It is twice blessed; it blesses him that gives, and him that takes." She uses her power to test Bassanio. Even though she claimed after their marriage that all her possessions are his and handed over her power, she still seemed to be the dominant leader of the couple. Act 4 is the most important of scenes in the play for Portia. Her amusing, intelligent and forceful argument is used to legally attack Shylock and free Antonio. Although she misleads Shylock into believing he will be rewarded until the last minute, a brutal feat, she may have been doing so in order to give Shylock every opportunity to redraw and show mercy. It is more likely however that Shakespeare did this to cause suspense and tension in the scene. In the end she points out that the bond does not include "blood" in the terms, and so Shylock cannot receive his pound of flesh, she then accuses Shylock of attempting to kill a Venetian, and he is sentenced to converting to Christianity and to leaving his fortune to Jessica and Lorenzo. ...read more.


She was loyal and obedient but at the same time she had firmness, she has desirable characteristics, her braveness allowed her to argue against anyone's disagreement. In my opinion, 'In Belmont is a lady richly left, and she is fair and, fairer than that word, of wondrous virtues' is not an adequate description of Portia. In this quote Bassanio was telling Antonio of Portia and stating her wealth and beauty over her desirability and intelligence. Portia is much more than just her wealth, not because she uses intellectual words and delivers an impressive mercy speech in Antonio's trial, but that fact that she, who we have beforehand seen as pampered and light-hearted, when confronted with injustice, stands tall and speaks her truth, defeating all obstacles as they come. "We are both accoutred like young men" Portia and Nerissa dress up as men to disguise themselves from their husbands in Venice. She uses her power in Antonio's trial by depriving him of any control and in the end the audience may doubt how she knew of his ships situation and why she went through with the trial when there was not any need. This could be a way of staying in charge. Therefore, Portia is to a great extent wiser and more intelligent than she was formerly made out to be. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. to what extent can the Merchant of Venice be seen as a fairytale

    The inscription tells them that you are a fool if you think to highly of yourself and live in a dream. Portia's father wanted someone who wasn't a dreamer but was grounded. Finally, in the lead casket, which Bassanio chooses, the riddle says 'who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath'.

  2. How Just is the outcome of the Trial Scene in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of ...

    So in many ways, Shylock is the despised Jew full of greed and old-fashioned beliefs that a regular Shakespeare comedy is supposed to have. However, amongst all these lines showing an obsession with money, and amongst all his snarling cruel demands to seek revenge, Shylock is explored in much more

  1. Shakespear Coursework - The Merchant of Venice

    Elizabethan audiences would've welcomed her decision and so viewed her father as the villain. Up until this point in the play Shakespeare presents Shylock as a complex character, negative and his desire for money. Shakespeare uses his technique as a dramatist to dramatically change our opinion of Shylock.

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

    Salerio indicates that a Frenchman mentioned a Venetian vessel had sunk in the English Channel the day before. Both men hope that it is not Antonio's ship. Act II, Scene Nine The Prince of Aragon arrives in Belmont and decides to choose from among the three caskets.

  1. Why does Bassanio choose correctly?

    "What demi-god hath come so near creation". Bassanio's love is also presented as, even though he admits that the portrait is beautifully painted, it fails to do her justice. "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".

  2. Shylock is an ambivalent portrait: Discuss with some reference to the cultural background, how ...

    He tells Antonio the story of Uncle Laban's sheep and Jacob to justify why he should collect Interest. His interpretation of the story is completely different from the Antonio's. Antonio believes that he twists the story to benefit himself. Antonio detests Shylock, he considers him ' a dog', and he does not agree with Shylock charging interest, i.e.

  1. Shakespeare reveals prejudice of a character with dark complexion with the very first line ...

    Both the Princes judged through 'outward appearances' as Arragon said "base lead" and Morocco said "dull lead" Both of them made quick rejecting decision for lead. For Morocco lead was threatening and not worth risking anything for. He is attracted by appearances and was adamant not to choose the lead casket as he said, "Must give!

  2. Shakespeare’s three women characters – Portia, Nerissa and Jessica – are portrayed as typical ...

    if the devil be within, and that temptation without, I know he will choose it." And, "I could teach you how to choose right." The first of these tells us that she does know which casket has her picture in it also tells us that she wishes to discourage the suitor from choosing it.

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