One can place a question in the Search MV box (above right). I'll quote Professor Parrott's introduction(1938): "there are at least four fully realized characters, life-like enough for actors to differ in their impersonations and critics in their comments from Shakespeare's day to ours"(that is, in New Jersey in the 1930s). "First of all there is Antonio, the royal merchant, an idealist, overshadowed, like most of Shakespeare's men of thought, with a cloud of melancholy, due perhaps to his realization that he is about to lose his friend by the latter's marriage." "Portia herself is, of course, the most delightful character of the play. She is one of Shakespeare's ideal women, a lady of the Renaissance, beautiful, prudent, cultured, and courteous, yet withal a simple, loving girl..............these qualities are set off and enriched in her by a sly, gently mocking humor that shows in her talk with Nerissa and in the jest of the rings."