The Merchant Of Venice - Portia

Essay by brittanyfaithJunior High, 9th gradeA+, August 2008

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Unlike most of you in here, I never had the chance to choose who I would spend the rest of my life with. It was in my dead fathers will that suitors from all around the world would each choose out of a gold, silver and lead casket, and whoever chose the right casket was the one who I was expected to love. It was out of the Prince of Morocco, the Prince of Arragon, or Bassanio, who would earn my heart, with Bassanio being the only one I had true feelings for. This event is the one that emotionally impacted my life for the better.

My name is Portia and I am from Belmont, which is a sophisticated society filled with joyful people, compared to Venice, a city of commerce and unhappy people.

My father wanted the best for me, that’s why he put my portrait and a scroll inside the lead casket, so that the winner would not be deceived and mislead by appearances.

When Bassanio was the only man to choose this casket, I was filled with delight and joy. Maybe the choices that my father had made weren’t as unfair as they seemed.

The winning of the casket by Bassanio has changed my life in many different ways. His trust and kindness has made me a better woman. I remember when he chose correctly that he asked for my approval of the casket’s truth, of which I then wished that I was a better and richer woman, so that I could meet his high standards. Then, when I gave him a ring and said “which when you part from, lose, or give away, let it presage the ruin of your love”, he promised me that the parting of the ring would result in his death. From this I felt more confident and my faith in him grew stronger by the minute.

Without Bassanio being by my side, I would never be able to realise that money is of no importance when it comes to his happiness, by offering to pay off his debts to Shylock. If the Prince of Morocco had won my hand in marriage, I would not have been able to overlook the dark atmosphere that surrounded him. If the Prince of Arragon had won my hand in marriage, I would not have been able to put up with his arrogance. Both of these men are shallow fools for the simple reason that when they were considering caskets, both compared them to their own standards of life. This is very unlike the smart and bold adventurer, Bassanio. He considered war, religion, bravery and beauty. I personally admire and respect him, and he has taught me that you shouldn’t judge anything by its outside.

My father has taught me that love is more important than money. My trust and patience has strengthened since I met Bassanio. I was impatient and edgy before I met him and I would not have been able to live with my fathers unfair wishes. Now I have learned to accept the fact that my father had the right intentions for my life, and I can secretly thank him for bringing me the most amazing man that has mentally impacted my life in so many different ways.

Bibliography - The Merchant of Venice Play by Shakespeare