The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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How is Portia characterized in act 1, scene 2, of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice?

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In act 1, scene 2, Portia is depicted as a melancholy, conflicted young woman, who is forced to follow the will of her deceased father. Portia laments about her difficult situation and is upset that she lacks the agency to choose a husband. At the beginning of the scene, Nerissa offers Portia valuable advice, and Portia displays her reasonable, insightful personality by commenting that it is easier to give good advice than to follow it. Nerissa then elaborates on Portia's father's will and proceeds to list the numerous suitors interested in marrying Portia.

As Nerissa lists the suitors, Portia critiques their personalities and expresses her displeasure with each of them. While Portia is critiquing the suitors, she is depicted as a critical, genuine woman who knows what she desires and is not interested in superficial, arrogant leaders. She is also characterized as a hopeless romantic with a sense of humor. When the servant informs Portia that the Prince of Morocco has arrived, Portia...

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