In Act 3 Scene 2 From the extract ' Now he goes, With no less presence, but with much more love ........ Go Hercules!  What at is the meaning of 'howling Troy',  'bleared visages' and 'the issue...

In Act 3 Scene 2 From the extract ' Now he goes, With no less presence, but with much more love ........ Go Hercules! 

What at is the meaning of 'howling Troy',  'bleared visages' and 'the issue of the Exploit' ?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Certainly, in Scene 2 of Act III Shakespeare directs the reader's attention upon Portia as Bassanio is viewed through her eyes, and with no more emotional intensity than when she compares him to Hercules who battles the sea monster to save the Greek virgin Hesione to whom she likens herself.

"howling Troy" is an allusion to King Laomedon and his city of Troy. In Greek legend, Laomedon had cheated Poseidon and Apollo because he had failed to pay them for the construction of the city walls. Therefore, Poseidon sent a sea monster to Troy to destroy it as punishment. In order to appease this monster, Laomedon had to offer his daughter Hesione as a sacrificial virgin. Grieving for the life of  Hesione, the Trojans would be "howling."

Portia compares herself to Hesione and says that the others will watch:

The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives,
With blearèd visages come forth to view
The issue of th' exploit. (3.2.58-60)
 
The Dardans are Greeks, so the "bleared visages" are the tear-drenched faces of those watching the fate of Hesione--in Portia's allusion, herself. 
"the issue of the exploit" refers to Hesione's being sacrificed because of her father's wrongdoing. She is his issue (child) and he has exploited the gods in cheating them of payment. In Portia's case, the "bleared visages" alludes to her tears and anxiety that Bassanio choose the correct casket, and the "exploit" is the father's arrangement of the caskets for Portia's marriage.
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