page 2 of 2
Shylock remains in control of events in Venice, but Portia, his antagonist, is now moving against him. Her cross-dressing is a device typical of women in Shakespeare’s comedies. Indeed, the play has already shown Jessica dressed as a boy in her escape from Shylock’s house. Dressing as a man is necessary since Portia is about to play a man’s part, appearing as member of a male profession. The demands placed upon her by her father’s will are gone, and she feels free to act and to prove herself more intelligent and capable than the men around her.
The conversation between Jessica and Launcelot in Act III, scene v, does little to advance the plot. It acts as comic relief and conveys the impression of time passing while the various characters converge on the Venetian courtroom. Jessica’s subsequent description of Portia’s perfection to her husband is odd, given how little attention Portia paid to her, but Jessica recognizes that Portia is the center of the social world that she hopes to join.
35 out of 94 people found this helpful
Describe merchant of venice as a romantic comedy.
25 out of 42 people found this helpful
I feel that another significant symbol in this play is Portia's ring. Although it is not mentioned in the symbols as given above, it is definitely an important symbol. A ring was given to Bassanio by Portia in Act III, Scene II, when Bassanio passes the casket test and is authorized to marry her. Portia gives Bassanio a ring stating that this ring signified their love and that she is handing over herself and her worldly possessions to Bassanio when she gave him that ring. However she lays the condition that the day that he loses, sells or gi... Read more→
308 out of 323 people found this helpful
Take a Study Break!