Is Portia in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice a static character


Essay, 2004
6 Pages, Grade: 1,8

Excerpt

In William Shakespeare`s drama The Merchant of Venice, certain characters are getting more and more involved into the action of the play. That takes place in a manner which might give the reader or spectator the impression that some characters even change their character traits. According to Manfred Pfister, figures who “undergo a process of development in the course of the text” (Pfister 1991: 177f.) are called dynamic. “Their […] features change, either in a continuous process or in disjointed series of jumps” (Pfister 1991: 177f.). Static characters, however, remain static throughout the play and do never change. Only “the receiver`s perception of them may gradually develop, change or expand under the influence […] of information” (Pfister 1991: 177f.). In this essay, Portia of Belmont shall be focused on by giving an outline of her character and on this basis it shall be analysed whether she is a static character or not.

The first impression of Portia, heiress of Belmont, is conveyed through Bassanio in a dialog with Antonio. He sees in Portia the ideal of a woman: beautiful with “her sunny locks” (1.1,169), “of wonderous virtues” (ibid. 163), loyal as “Cato`s daughter”(ibid. 166) and attractive, which makes of Portia - “a lady richly left” (ibid. 161), “fair” (ibid. 162) and unmarried - a woman who is well known all over the world and much sought-after (“And many Jasons come in in quest of her”, 1.1,172). Portia herself describes her situation in the beginning of the play differently: “By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world” (1.2,1-2). Portia`s melancholy is obvious and not even Nerissa reminding Portia of her “good fortunes” (ibid. 4) can successfully convince her to stop feeling miserable about the “instructions” (ibid. 13-14) that Portia`s father had imposed on his daughter as his last will before he passed away: to wait for the right husband who should be revealed through choosing the right casket among three.

[...]

Excerpt out of 6 pages

Details

Title
Is Portia in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice a static character
College
University of Freiburg  (Anglistisches Institut)
Course
Introduction to literary studies
Grade
1,8
Author
Year
2004
Pages
6
Catalog Number
V65788
ISBN (eBook)
9783638582766
File size
442 KB
Language
English
Notes
Essay in English on the topic of 'Static Characters', illustrated at Shakespeare's play 'The Merchant of Venice'.
Tags
Portia, William, Shakespeare, Merchant, Venice, Introduction
Quote paper
Beate Wilhelm (Author), 2004, Is Portia in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice a static character, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/65788

Comments

  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Is Portia in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice a static character


Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free