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Compare between the characters of Rosalind in As You Like It and Portia in the Merchant...

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sunlight | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 2, 2007 at 4:32 AM via web

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Compare between the characters of Rosalind in As You Like It and Portia in the Merchant Of Venice.

the similar in two character and the different

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 7, 2007 at 2:45 AM (Answer #1)

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As in all comparisons, start with the basics. Both characters are female, and both are young. This allows them to pass for (young) men, which they do: both characters engage in disguises. Both also manipulate men for some advantage, using a combination of the disguise, period attitudes towards trusting men (over women), and their own verbal skills. Both have good natures.

Both live in worlds governed by formal rules, and both characters are placed in plays where there is some trouble/upheaval with the system creating the rules. What's more, both have their fates decided at least in part by games played by men (the wrestling, the caskets).

As for differences, these are clear too, and we should start with the basics. Rosalind takes on disguise for self-protection, and stays in it longer. She also seems to get a kick out of the disguise. Portia takes on a disguise to help Antonio, and seems more focused there.

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