The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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What is a character sketch of the Prince of Morocco in The Merchant Of Venice?  

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The Prince of Morocco's grand entrance at the beginning of Act a, is an excellent indication of his flamboyant and seemingly overbearing nature. His opening remark, "Mislike me not for my complexion," is a clear indication of his awareness about racial prejudice. He is most obviously not embarrassed about his dark skin and proudly proclaims his African heritage and peerage. He comes across as self-assured and somewhat boastful when he claims that, despite his skin tone, even the most courageous fear him and that he has impressed many of the most beautiful virgins in his country. His statement that he will never change his color is a further assertion of his pride. He displays artful flattery, though, when he tells Portia that he will only change his skin tone if it would encourage her to think only of him.    

The Prince has a conceited opinion of himself. He later brags about his conquests in battle and flatteringly declares that he will undertake the most arduous tasks to win Portia's hand. He alludes to Hercules (and Alcides), the mythological hero, because he evidently deems himself his equal. He also suggests that he is a better man than most; he states that he will "die with grieving" if a man lesser than he should succeed in winning Portia's hand. The Prince is also demanding and impatient; he wishes to try his luck in choosing a casket almost immediately. Portia, however, tells him that he first has to go to the temple to make his vows before making his choice.

Further evidence of the Prince's arrogance is later provided in scene 7 when he has the opportunity to choose a casket. He rejects the lead casket because "A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross." He also believes that it would be beneath a man of his stature to even consider the silver chest since he deserves only the best. He believes that Portia is the richest gem and that "never so rich a gem was set in worse than gold." Since he should have what all men seek, namely, Portia, he...

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