The Merchant Of Venice By Margaret Atwood Essay

1060 Words Jan 23rd, 2016 5 Pages
Love can be presented very differently in literature, depending on the context and time that the text is set in. Across the three extracts, taken from ‘The Merchant of Venice’ by William Shakespeare, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood, love is seen to be interpreted in various ways. It is portrayed that whilst love is strong, lovers must be patient, dedicated and selfless for their relationships to be functional. It can also be seen that love is a choice, but that the choice is manipulated by the society in which we live.
The first extract from ‘The Merchant of Venice’, presents idea that love must not be rushed, as it is very important that Brassanio chooses the casket with Portia’s picture inside so that the two of them may be together. This is emphasised in Portia’s lines “yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought – / […] I could teach you/ how to choose right, but then I am forsworn” which is a metaphor that suggests that she knows, without her help, Brassanio may not pick her. Because of this, she is desperate for him to allow her to guide him in his choice. Usually, women at this time would not have had a say in any decision making, however, Portia subverts the expectation that women should stay silent as she stresses that it is very important for both of their futures. If Brassanio chooses the wrong casket, he and Portia will never be together, and so they must be patient.
In addition to this, Shakespeare has used caesural…

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