The Merchant of Venice Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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In The Merchant of Venice, what are the similarities between Jessica and Portia?

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In The Merchant of Venice, the circumstances surrounding Portia's upcoming marriage and Jessica's intentions to marry Lorenzo form subplots to the play's main action between Shylock and Antonio and the "pound of flesh" which Shylock insists is owed to him in literal terms.

1. Jessica and Portia are both only daughters of controlling fathers. Even though Portia's father is dead, she cannot escape his influence and her lament is sincere when she says, "so is the will of a living daughter curbed by the will of a dead father" (I.ii.24-25). Portia's filial loyalty (loyalty to family) prevents her from making choices and renders her powerless. Jessica has been similarly...

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