A modern day audience is able to instantly see clearly that women are assigned second-class status, because Bassanio describes her as though she is defined by her relationship with Cato in this case her daughter. Here Bassanio uses classical mythology to qualify. In one of the oldest quest stories, Jason led a party of Greek heroes called the Argonatus through many hazards in order to bring back the Golden Fleece from the shores of Colchis on the Black Sea.
His intriguing use of metaphors and simile highlights how there are many men after her.
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Portia then informs the audience of the casket test — which is a test her dead father arranged for her husband to be chosen. In addition to this, Shakespeare portrays Portia as though she is a slave to the casket test because she has no control over whom she marries.
SparkNotes: The Merchant of Venice: Portia Quotes
This is a conventional portrayal of women and would have been accepted at his time as the thought process of people moved in this direction. God defend me of these. From this moment on, it is established to the audience that Antonio and Portia are going to be the link between Belmont and Venice. When Bassanio with his train arrives to take the casket test, we get a love scene, which is arguably the best since Romeo and Juliet.
Before you hazard, for in choosing wrong I lose your company; therefore forbear a while. Portia changes the rhythm of her speech from prose when she was speaking to Morocco to a softer more poetic verse form. Some may assume that she wants to influence his decision while others may see it as her simply wanting to spend quality time with the man she appears to have fallen in love with before the tension of the casket test takes over.
Then confess. What treason is mingled with your love. Her success involves prevailing on technicalities rather than the merits of the situation. She uses the tactics of what is sometimes called a Philadelphia lawyer in modern times and in so doing demonstrates that she is far from powerless, irrespective of her earlier lack of choice in the marriage. However, the concept of rhetoric and its abuse is also brought to light by Portia — highlighting the idea that an unjust argument may win through eloquence, loopholes and technicalities , regardless of the moral question at hand — and thus provoking the audience to consider that issue.
Shylock leaves the trial with both his life and his job intact but retains only half of his money and is deprived of his identity on being forced to convert to Christianity, while his daughter Jessica and her Christian husband Lorenzo with whom she had previously eloped are found in Portia's castle, not, it is implied, in complete happiness. Portia and Bassanio, on the other hand, continue to live together along with the former's lady-in-waiting Nerissa and her husband Gratiano.
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The strength of the role of Portia has made it attractive to many notable actresses. Frances Abington , Sarah Siddons and Elizabeth Whitlock all played Portia in the 18th century when actresses first started appearing on stage in performances of the play. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Merchant of Venice: Portia Essay
Hidden allusions in Shakespeare's plays: a study of the early court revels and personalities of the times. Kennikat Press. Fairleigh Dickinson.
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Merchant of Venice. Project Gutenberg. New England Law. Retrieved 19 August The Advocate. As the play develops and we see Portia in action, it becomes pretty clear that our girl is both smart and cunning. Of course, you'll be wanting some evidence for this claim, so here it is.
Portia clearly wants to marry Bassanio. Yes, we realize this is an unfortunate choice given that Bassanio a wants Portia's money and b seems to value his bromance with Antonio more than his relationship with her. When Bassanio shows up to try his luck at the casket lottery, Portia has her band of personal musicians play a little tune full of not-so-subtle hints that helps Bassanio make the right choice 3.
You can read more about this music business in "Symbolism. You remember how Portia cross-dresses as a lawyer and saves Antonio's life during the big trial scene, right?
go to site This means she not only was clever enough to save her man's BFF, but she also made it so that both men owe her big-time. The next time Bassanio and Antonio are thinking about spending the weekend playing Xbox together, they'll probably feel so guilty that Bassanio will decide to hang out with his wife in Belmont instead.
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We saved the best evidence for last. After Bassanio snags Portia by winning the casket contest, Portia gives him a ring and makes him promise to never, ever part with it 3. Being Bassanio, he parts with the ring when Portia disguised as Balthazar the lawyer says something like, "Hey Bassanio, since I just saved your friend's life, how about you give me that ring you're wearing" 4.
Why does Portia do this?