Why does Portia lie to Lorenzo and tell him that she is going to a monastery in Act three, Scene 4? 

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act three, Scene 4, Lorenzo praises Portia for being noble and understanding in regards to her husband's friendship with Antonio. Portia responds by saying that she never regrets doing a good thing and proceeds to tell Lorenzo that she will be leaving him in charge of her household until Bassanio returns. Portia lies to Lorenzo by telling him that she has made a secret vow to God to live in prayer and contemplation alone until her husband returns. She also says that she and Nerissa will be staying at a monastery two miles away and nobody is to bother them while they are there. The reason Portia lies to Lorenzo is because she plans on traveling to Venice where she will dress up and impersonate Doctor Balthazar in order to influence Antonio and Shylock's court case. Portia does not want Lorenzo or anybody else knowing that she is leaving Belmont, which is why she tells Lorenzo that she needs to be alone in the monastery.

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The Merchant of Venice

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