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The Merchant of Venice

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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