ICSE - X - English
Write a paragraph on Portia's sense of beauty and honour.
(The Merchant of Venice
Portia is praised for her beauty and wit throughout the play. Bassanio speaks of being mesmerised by her eyes at the beginning itself. She portrays confident and humorous which is uncommon in women of her age. She does not shy away from mocking fun at even the suitors who seek her hand in marriage. Her physical beauty is increased by the beauty of her heart. When Bassanio selects the casket which contains her portrait she is overwhelmed and wishes that she had more of everything so that she could give more to him. Her wit and humorous nature surface repeatedly through the play. We see her talk of getting her suitor drunk so that he chooses the wrong casket. When Portia plans to disguise as a young lawyer to save Antonio she doesn’t miss the chance of making witty remarks about acquiring the speech and manner of a man so accurately as to put them to shame. In the court room when Bassanio mentions parting with his wife in exchange of his friend’s life, Portia once again suggests that if his wife was present to hear that remark she wouldn’t be too pleased by the remark. In this manner Portia uses her wit to add humour to serious situations in the play.
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