Portia, The Merchant Of Venice

Decent Essays

Portia, The Merchant of Venice
Do you agree that Portia is a memorable character in the play The Merchant of Venice?

In the play The Merchant of Venice, there are many female characters who face injustice alone in society. Portia as many seemingly paradoxical identities. This makes her a memorable character in the play The Merchant of Venice. She has represented being dutiful towards her father, being an innocent young woman, a ‘mortal-breathing saint’ who posses ‘god-like amity’, a hard headed and calculating lawyer who is fully conversant with the tricks of the legal trade, and is advocate of mercy who ruthlessly destroys Shylock.

Portia is not a memorable character because amongst her ‘god-like amity’ and her ‘mortal-breathing saint’ personality, she also portrays a deceitful character through her complex personality. Portia’s personality is superficial. Her evaluation of her suitors is both articulate and scathing; Portia deconstructs each man with a kind of clinical precision, seeming to take particular pleasure in questioning their masculinity. “God made him, and therefore let him pass as a man;” (1.2.50). This quote reveals Portia’s conception of masculinity seems to have little to do with mere anatomy. The French Lord, she says, though he posses the outward signs of masculinity, plays a man’s part poorly that only God’s intent allows him to be considered one. She apparently believes herself to have superior judgement of what make a truly masculine man. Though her

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