Portia’s persistence in deceitfully compelling Bassanio to part with his ring reflects her belief that self interest warrants deceptiveness. Following Bassanio’s stern refusal to give his ring to the disguised Portia, she argues “if your wife be not a madwoman,/And know how well I have deserved this ring,/She would not hold out on the enemy forever/For giving it to me,” thus persuading Bassanio to send his ring to her (4.1.443-446). Remaining persistent despite Bassanio’s prior rejections, Portia both demonstrates her inclination to submit to her insecurities, and resembles the Devil in the biblical account of Jesus’ forty days in the desert. Through Portia’s persistence, Shakespeare seems to invoke the story of when Jesus “was in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan,” as Portia incessantly asks Bassanio to depart with his ring, and even remarks that only a madwoman would chide the act (Mark 1:12-13). By aligning Portia with Satan because of her desire to test Bassanio, Shakespeare subtly prompts the audience to perceive her as flawed and self interested, thus insinuating that she is unfit to judge equitably.
Bassanio’s love appears to be counterfeit because he was initially interested in Portia because of her wealth and status. This implies that he has fallen in love with the idea of Portia and her possessions rather than her personality. Just like Portia and Bassanio’s relationship, Jessica and Lorenzo have ulterior motives to their relationship. Instead of being strictly based on love, Jessica wants to marry Lorenzo so she can convert to Christianity and shed her father’s reputation. On the other hand, Lorenzo sees their marriage as profitable.
Thus, there is no doubt that Portia is a wise women who displays her abilities as a women. Her choice influences on many other characters such as Antonio, Shylock and Bassanio. Her choice makes different results and it lead them to make a different choice. The last choice appear in The Merchant of Venice is in the choice of Antonio. He can be defined as a unlucky and depressing royal merchant who is lacking of fund ( Bloom, 1986 ).
Posing as a tutor allows him to not only grow close to Bianca, but also to Baptista. Earning Baptista’s trust is essential to him gaining Bianca’s hand in marriage and her dowry. Although Bianca is highly sought after, Baptista favors her over her sister, Katherine, and thus shields her from potential suitors. Lucentio not only uses his disguise to deceive Bianca, but he is deceived. Lucentio attempts to be clever in order to “win” Bianca, but Bianca is not what she seems to be.
The bond. Antonio, who has tied up all of his money is seafaring ventures, is unable to give Bassanio a direct loan. Instead he offers to use his good credit to get a loan for Bassanio. Bassanio finds Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, and convinces him to give a loan of three thousand ducats as long as Antonio will sign the contract. In a rather unusual twist, instead of charging the Christian men interest, Shylock agrees to waive it as long as Antonio promises him a pound of his flesh as collateral.
Shakespeare’s language and choice of words portrays one of the most vital characters of the play, Portia, as a powerless woman to a large extent… but only in a certain way. Being ‘powerful’ has three meanings, one is “having great strength”, two is “having control over people and events”, and lastly three is “having a strong effect on people’s thoughts and feelings”. The two latter definitions are similar yet very different in this context. Making it possible for Portia to seem like a powerless woman, but surprisingly remain one of the most important characters. The reader’s first impression of Portia is through Bassanio’s description during his conversation with Antonio.
He is the eldest of eight children living in a shack that brings in seventy-five cents a day. (5, 17) His parents can’t afford to properly feed anybody. It's not a question whether Flavio will die, but when. Poverty is also choking Flavio. He has violent coughing fits where it seems as if his lungs were “... tearing apart” (11).
One cannot assume that Merchant of Venice being a comedy automatically pins it as a typical conservative story simply because of its mildly positive resolution. Portia disguising herself as a man for the entirety of Act 4 and giving intelligent quick directions, proving that a strong woman can save the “damsel in distress” Antonio, even when the one in peril is a man, having a gender which is infamous for being able to help themselves. It is unwise to believe that this significant storyline, along with several others, can be simply excused in favor of paying attention to
As a representation of trust and love, Bassanio’s compliance in trading the ‘trifle ring’ to disguised Portia creates a strong sense of dramatic irony. Portia gave Bassanio the ring along with her vows and her inheritance, this is evidence of Bassanio marrying Portia as a financial union. “Which when you part from, lose or give away, Let it presage the ruin of your love” portrays the significance of the ring towards Portia. “Ruin your love” gives a sense of dramatic irony, because the audience is aware that Bassanio only wooed her for her wealth and not for the love she describes. When the law was in Antonio’s favour, he sympathises for Shylock by lowering the consequences and allowing him to live, portraying Shylock as villainous compared to the Christians.