Is Portia the most appealing character in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice? If so, why? 

Is Portia the most appealing character in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice? If so, why?

 

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iandavidclark3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The answer to this question depends upon the reader's subjective opinion. However, there are quite a few reasons to find Portia appealing, and so it is certainly possible to see her as one of the most appealing characters of the play. She uses her wealth for good, for instance, by offering to repay Antonio's loan. When that doesn't work, Portia shows true ingenuity by disguising herself as a lawyer and outsmarting Shylock in court. Indeed, it would appear that, when compared to most of the men in the play, Portia proves herself to be truly superior, as she wields intelligence and a vast store of resources with confident authority. As such, one can't help but assume that it will be Portia, and not her husband Bassanio, who will be in charge. In recognizing these admirably feminist qualities, one can't help but regard Portia as one of the most appealing characters in the play.  

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The Merchant of Venice

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