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Favourite Character Portia Essay

706 words - 3 pages

Portia Favourite Character
Among the many astounding works of William Shakespeare, the merchant of Venice stands out as a masterful work of art. The accounts of the play evolve around the emotions of love, hatred and companionship. The plot encompasses various characters as they evolve into life size personalities through Shakespeare’s prodigious narrative abilities. While Shylock evolves as the overwhelmingly noteworthy figure, my favorite character remains the mesmeric heroine of the play, Portia. Her personality and grace, her astuteness and her affable sense of hilarity makes her the most likable individual in the play. In short, she embodies the virtues, typical of many other Shakespearean heroines.
As the most eligible bachelorette of Belmont, the tales of her beauty reach our ears even before we meet her in the play. However, despite her attractiveness, she does not have the arrogance that comes with it.   We see her bound by her father’s will into making ...view middle of the document...

However, beauty and brains would still fall modest of an ideal heroine if she does not exemplify the sense of humor required to go with it. Nevertheless, Portia exhibits a breathtaking hilarity where she pulls of a joke on her would be husband and Gratiano. The ring scene in the last act reveals the funny side of Portia, apart from the romantic one.
To sum up, in the sixteenth century setup, Portia is portrayed...
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Portia is a woman who  is subservient to the attitudes of her times. She is educated beyond measure and yet is subject to the will of the males in her life.  First of all she is forced to obey the dictates of her father's will and must marry the man who guesses the right casket. Secondly she is under the direction of her husband Bassanio, who takes over her fortune and is in charge of her.  It does seem that the men in this play portray women as no better than cattle or land. 


            Portia disguises herself as a young male judge to save her husband's best friend.  She is very clever in stating the exact words of the contract between Shylock and Antonio.  Then when Shylock wants his pound of flesh Portia tells him he can not spill a drop of blood in the process or he will lose all that he has.  In the end Portia manages to do just what she started to do, save Antonio's life.  During the trial, she overhears her husband tell Antoino that he loves his friend more than his wife. To Portia's dismay  Bassanio gives his wedding ring in payment to the lawyer (Portia) for his fees.  This is done possibly under duress for Bassanio did promise Portia that he would never part with the ring. When Bassanio returns home to find his wife blocking the doorway to the house, he knows something is wrong.  She asks him where his wedding ring has gone to and is told that it is not here.  She refuses to share the same bed with him till he has the ring back on his finger. Portia finds it in her heart to forgive Bassanio and gives the ring to Antonio; he in turn gives it to his friend Bassanio. 


Portia is a remarkable woman for any time.  She stands by her husband in his hour of need, assisting when she can and has a very forgiving heart when the occasion presents itself.  This is a very admirable trait to have whether you be man or woman.

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