Father-Daughter Relationships in Sidney’s The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, and Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

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Father-Daughter Relationships in Sidney’s The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, and Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice Justification for the subjugation of females to males during the sixteenth century came from a variety of sources. Ranging from the view that God gave Adam authority over Eve as penalty for the fall, to a belief in the superiority of a husbands’ physical strength over that of his wife, attempts at rationalization of the restricted freedom of women came from every direction.1 Puritan reformers also believed that Eve was God’s gift, given to Adam ‘to consummate and make up his happinesse.’[1] From this perspective, we can easily make the mental adjustment necessary to embrace the view of…show more content…
As she is also yet unwed, Barabas further treats her as a commodity through his willingness to discuss the price of the diamond, and what Lodowick will have to pay to get it. Bassanio, in speaking with Antonio, says: Her name is Portia, nothing undervalu’d To Cato’s daughter, Brutus’ Portia. Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth, For the four winds blow in from every coast Renowned suitors.[6] Brutus’ Portia was a wise and devoted wife, qualities that would have been valued by Shakespearean suitors. When recounting previous suitors to Portia, Nerissa names a ‘Neapolitan, a County Palatine, a French Lord, an English Baron, a Scottish Lord, a German Duke’s nephew, and a Moroccan Prince.’[7] Bassanio operates under the belief that to draw so many suitors from such distant places, Portia must be more then worth the expense of the trip. Portia ‘reveals her worth as she promises Bassanio the role of the future lord of Belmont’ and verbally transfers all that is hers to now be subject to his

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