"The Merchant of Venice": Spirits Unite!

Essay by missydHigh School, 10th gradeA+, September 2007

download word file, 1 pages 4.0

Portia and Bassanio, from the Merchant of Venice are committed to a spiritual union. In reference to these characters, a spiritual union means that they are connected to each other through their souls and spirits. When Bassanio chose right for the correct reason of appearance versus reality, he was automatically connected to Portia through their spirits because it was as if her father was giving them a blessing and they were obligated to commit to each other. This does not mean that they do not love each other, but that they love each other in a special way. The ring that Portia presents to Bassanio is a symbol of their love and relationship together. If he was ever to lose it or take it off his finger for any reason, it would “presage the ruin of [their] love.” (III, iii, 173) When Bassanio commits to this ring, he is committing to Portia and their life together with everything he has.

As well, Portia now realizes that her “gentle spirit/Commits itself to [Bassanio’s] to be directed/As from her lord, her governor, her king.” (III, iii, 163-165) The fact that Portia would give anything she possesses to a great friend of Bassanio, but who is a complete stranger to her, shows that their love is strong and they are now a part of each other. Portia is in disbelief when she hears that Antonio is now most likely going to die and suggests that they “Pay [Shylock] six thousand, and deface the bond;/Double six thousand, and then treble that,/Before a friend of this description/Shall lose a hair through Bassanio’s fault.” (III, iii, 298-301) Portia is committed to Bassanio in such a way that she believes that they are now each half of each other “And [she] must freely have the half of anything” that Bassanio is brought by the letter. (III, iii, 248) Their souls and spirits are the initial points of connection and therefore unite them in a spiritual way.

Bibliography:The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare