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In Act 3 Scene 2 of The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare highlights the beginning of the love relationship between Portia and Bassanio. Write your thoughts.
Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, contains a lot of symbolism. One of which is the casket scene, in which Bassanio chooses the right casket and wins Portia’s heart. Act 3, Scene 2 sheds light on Portia’s reaction upon the right choice of Bassanio and it also reflects the decision she takes. This essay will therefore describe how Portia uses a poetic language to show the meaning of love as well as on her own feelings at that particular moment.
Also, this extracts reflects upon the bond of marriage and the meaning of love through the words of Portia. When she says to Bassanio: “Happiest of all is that her gentle spirit commits itself to yours” the audience can feel the magic of love already. She further shows how dedicated she will be in the relationship. She opens up honestly to Bassanio.
She admits being “unlessoned”, “unschooled” and “unpractised” but she also stresses on the fact that “she can learn”. Portia reveals how a love relationship should be based on trust and honesty. She hides nothing of herself to Bassanio. She beautifully describe a selfless love when she says to Bassanio “Myself, and what is mine, to you and yours is now converted.”
Furthermore, by giving the ring to Bassanio, she stresses on the symbolism of the ring. Promises and responsibilities come along with a ring. When she says how she gives “this house, these servants and this same myself” with “this ring, she sends the message to Bassanio that she now belongs to him.
Therefore, taking care of the ring is very important since it is the ring which is holding them together. In other words, this ring-giving moment is a test for Bassanio who understands the responsibilities that he has towards Portia. His love echoes when he says “when this ring parts from this finger, then parts life from hence.” This statement shows that Portia will be in safe hands with Bassanio.
Finally, this extract has enabled the audience to have an idea on the importance of marriage and commitment. The audience has been able to learn more of Portia’s character through this extract and it can be said that Shakespeare deliberately made her such a bold character so that she is able to fight the case of Antonio.
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