Portia the Control Freak: “The-Merchant-of-Venice”

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I would love to compose a critical essay about the function of Portia in  Shakespeare ’ s “ Merchant of Venice, ” acclaiming her as one of Shakespeare ’ s greatest parts to the society of the sane ; nevertheless, I find this impossible after re-reading the text. At first, I hung on her every word and was amazed at her humor, but subsequently I found her to be merely another Shakespearian psycho.

Basically, I understood Portia to be nil less than an obedient girl obeying the caprice of her dead, over-protective male parent. She speaks in footings of regard about the casket ritual, and the reader believes her to be sincere. Subsequently as her character is unfolded, the reader sees a married woman in love with the hubby who was wise plenty to gain her love ( and accordingly her luck! )

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Beware, gentle reader! Do non fall under the enchantment of Portia the control monster! The following scenerios must be cogent evidence that this adult female is non to be trusted! First of all, allow ’ s measure the scene where Portia and Bassanio are before the coffins where Bassanio must do his pick. The duologue straight preceeding the determination of the coffin is basic lover ’ s address, but wait! Listen carefully to what Portia says: “ If you do love me, you will happen me out ” ( III ii 41 ) .

Portia leads Bassanio to believe that the pick he makes in the coffins is his ain. She leads the reader to believe that Bassanio ’ s love for her is the lone force which leads to the find of the right coffin. However, earlier when Portia is talking of the readyings for the coffin pick, she speaks of music which is to be played while Bassanio makes his pick. Ok, this seems guiltless plenty ; but examine the vocal – the first two lines of the vocal rime with lead! It doesn ’ Ts take long for the subliminal message to be absorbed in Bassanio ’ s encephalon, and the lead & gt ; coffin is chosen. This manipulative device is an indicant to me that Portia has a demand to do things travel her manner. She is afraid that Bassanio will do the incorrect pick, and hence aids him.

Portia creates a manner of commanding the hereafter of the relationship between herself and Bassanio. Portia gives Bassanio a ring with the words, “ I give you this ring, which when you portion from, lose, or give away, / Let it bode the ruin of your love ” . Of class, Bassanio gives off the ring foremost opportunity he gets. Portia subsequently makes known that the adult male he gave the ring to was her, and she proceeds to scold Bassanio for his deficiency of love.

Bassanio is trapped! No affair what he does for the remainder of their relationship, in his head will remain the thought that Portia is watching! This is a cagey device invented by Mr. Shakespeare ; nevertheless, it does expose a certain obsessional, manipulative air about Portia. Hmmmmm … . Last, I would wish to take a venture. I was inquiring earlier while reading the “ Merchant of Venice ” why Shakespeare used the doppel- ganger technique in his presentation of Nerissa and Portia. Nerissa follows Portia about and makes the same determinations Portia does. Nerissa is non every bit bright as Portia, and yet she meets the same ultimate destiny as Portia.

I am inquiring if Shakespeare could hold used Nerissa to point out the manipulative features of Portia. It is true that one manner that manipulative people provender is through weaker people who uphold them and their values. If anyone has any penetration on this idea, allow me cognize!

Well, there you have it. My true feelings on Portia. Certain she is to be admired in some facets, but possibly as all great originals she has her idiosyncrasies and mistakes. If anyone finds anything about the aforesaid facets of Portia ’ s character, delight allow me cognize.


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Portia the Control Freak: “The-Merchant-of-Venice”. (2018, Jun 10). Retrieved from


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