preview

The Merchant Of Venice

Satisfactory Essays
When William Shakespeare wrote, The Merchant of Venice, he included a female character that influences the play dramatically. In most of Shakespeare's plays, the women have little power and intelligence. In The Merchant of Venice, however, Portia is a woman that saves the life of a man with her wit and intelligence. Another woman created by Shakespeare that posses qualities similar to Portia is Beatrice, from Much Ado about Nothing. Both women add to the main themes of the play because of their ability to use their intelligence and witty remarks as well as having a loving heart. The women share many similarities as well as many differences which seem to be inevitable because Portia seems to be put on a pedestal that very few can reach.
Portia is one of Shakespeare's great heroines, whose beauty, lively intelligence, quick wit, and high moral seriousness have blossomed in a society of wealth and freedom. She is known throughout the world for her beauty and virtue, and she is able to handle any situation with her sharp wit. In many of Shakespeare's plays, he creates female characters that are presented to be clearly inferior to men. The one female, Shakespearean character that is most like Portia would be Beatrice, from Much Ado about Nothing. Both of the women are known for their wit and intelligence. Beatrice is able to defend her views in any situation, as does Portia. Shakespeare gives each of them a sense of power by giving their minds the ability to change words around, use multiple meanings and answer wisely to the men surrounding them. By adding a loving heart to both of these women, Shakespeare makes their intelligence more appealing. Even though Beatrice hides the loving side of her character for most of the play, she still expresses her kindness and love in other ways. Like Portia, she is a dear friend and an obedient daughter. In the fourth act, after Portia has saved the life of Antonio, she uses her wit, just as Beatrice does to test Benedict's love, to convince Bassanio to surrender the ring that he vowed he would never part with. After simply asking for it and being unsuccessful, she decides to use her intelligence and says, "I see sir, you are liberal in offers. / You taught me first to beg, and now methinks / You teach me how a beggar should be answer'd" (IV.
Get Access