In "The Merchant of Venice", why does Shylock call Portia a Daniel?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the Old Testament, Daniel was considered a wise man, and served as counselor to kings. He was a visionary who could see justice that others missed. Because Portia seems to be ruling for Shylock, he calls her a Daniel to praise her mercy and wisdom. (It also reminds audiences that he's Jewish, since Daniel's story is found in the portion of the Bible that Jews and Christians share.)