Is Portia the real hero of The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare?

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In many ways, Portia is indeed the real hero of The Merchant of Venice. In spite of the fact that she's a woman, she claims more agency than almost any other character in the play. She initially laments her fate as a woman without choice: “O me, the word 'choose!' I may neither choose whom I would nor refuse whom I dislike.” Her now deceased father has set up a system to select Portia’s husband. She has no power to select or turn down the man who passes her father’s test. Even after death, Portia’s life is ruled by patriarchy--one that she chooses to honor.

Fortunately, Portia’s love, Bassanio , passes the test and wins her hand. She asserts...

(The entire section contains 358 words.)

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