Theme Of Portia In Merchant Of Venice

Superior Essays
Portia in ‘Merchant of Venice one of the strongest and wisest characters found in William Shakespeare’s play. In this tragic comedy, Portia uses her creativity and wit to save the life of her husband’s best friend, Antonio. Portia’s father has passed, leaving her with a stunning inheritance. This beautiful, wealthy bachelorette is now the sought-after prize for many a young suitor. In fact, young, eligible suitors travel from other countries to win her hand in marriage. Portia knows who she loves, a young man named Bassanio. She hopes he will pursue her. However, there is a hitch. Her father has made it mandatory that the suitor who wins her hand pass a test. There are three chests, one of gold, one of silver, and one of lead. Each chest comes …show more content…
Only one chest holds her picture, and if the suitor chooses wisely, he will win her hand in marriage. Portia, on the other hand, struggles with her personal destiny being controlled by her dead father. There is a real possibility that a man Portia doesn't love will chose the right chest, and she will have no say over her personal happiness. Nerissa assures Portia that her father was a good man with her best interests at heart. Portia notes that knowing the right thing to do and doing it are two different things, and ruefully explains that it is much easier to give advice than to follow it. She further notes that youth don't tend to follow advice. But Portia cannot choose to follow advice. Her deepest frustration is revealed in her inability to choose her suitor due to her father's previously established test. She is at the mercy of the suitor's …show more content…
The first is that she is intelligent and logical. She also uses strong references to the Christian faith against Shylock, the Jew. Thus, she shows a strong religious belief. Her argument begins with the idea that forgiveness benefits the person doing the forgiving as well as the person forgiven. In an obvious allusion to Christianity, she says that forgiveness and mercy are a part of the character of God and that by seeking justice without mercy Shylock may well damn himself because he will disobey God's law. She is also self-confident. She shows give no apology for her beliefs and in fact implies that hers is the superior faith. This speech contributes to the theme that in showing mercy, one becomes closest to God. In the "love we show towards our friends, the compassion we show those in trouble, and the forgiveness we offer" to those who "sin against us", we show that we love and obey

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