What are the stereotypes of Portia in The Merchant of Venice?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Here are a few ways in which I think that Portia fits into various stereotypes that we have today.  I hope this is what you are asking.

First, one stereotype we have is that women try to maneuver the men they want into marrying them.  We can see Portia doing this when she sees Bassanio.  She helps him to figure out the casket riddle.

Second, people say women try to make men jealous of other men.  Portia does this in the ring subplot.

Third, we think of lawyers as being people who will take an agreement and find loopholes in it to give it a meaning it never had before.  We see Portia do this when she says Shylock's agreement entitles him to a pound of Antonio's flesh, but none of his blood.  This means that the agreement actually prevents Shylock from taking the flesh instead of allowing him to do it.

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jpooja | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In the Merchant of Venice, gender stereotypes were also evident. Females and males were being stereotyped on what they are and are not to do. For example, in the play, Portia as a female was not given as much respect as a male. Portia had to disguise herself as a male lawyer just to make her attempt to help Antonio successful. She could have dressed as a female lawyer but she chose to be a male lawyer which suggests the present gender stereotype in the plot.

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mattsmith666 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

one streotype is that woman should stay in the kitchen , and she was never in the kitchen.. conwincidence..... i think not

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