Figure 51: Essay Excerpt on Portia, The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Vague Generality.”

You may access the comment by clicking on the “V” category or by typing the title into the search box.

You may print the excerpt for class discussions.

Sample Excerpt

Even though both Antonio and Bassanio recognize that they need money from Shylock, which leads to projected hatred, the irony implied here and seen later towards the end of the play is that Portia represents a sort of moneylender too. Her figure in this society is of great wealth. They consider it a tragedy to take from Shylock but find it okay towards the end when Shylock wants his pound of flesh to ask money for Antonio’s payment of the forfeit from Portia. Portia offered to pay six times the principal and at the end where Antonio is jailed and tried, Shylock didn’t want the money. He wanted the law: “I crave the law,/ The penalty and forfeit of my bond” (Bullman 125).

Figure 51: Essay Excerpt on Portia, The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare


The student doesn’t provide a clear assessment of her ideas by developing detailed statements.

Group Activity

Rewrite the student’s analysis. Define “Portia’s wealth” and how she represents a moneylender. Consider the following questions as you develop your revision objectives:

1) Does Portia’s wealth contribute to the assumption that she is sort of a moneylender?

2) Where is the evidence necessary to substantiate this claim?

3) What is the perception of Portia?

4) How do other characters see or perceive Portia?

5) As a group, find answers to these questions within the literary text itself.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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