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The Merchant of Venice Essay | Critical Essay #11

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Critical Essay #11

[Parten discusses Portia's character in relation to the ring scene (Act V, scene 0. According to the critic, the ring episode "acts as a focus for the unresolved-and potentially explosive issue of the heroine's power. " In essence, the ring scene signifies the resolution of Portia's threat to the comic world of The Merchant of Venice. Parten maintains that Portia is a discordant element in the comic resolution of the play by virtue of her superiority over all the male characters. Such a situation is unacceptable in Shakespeare's comic world, the critic contends, where the proper hierarchy of men dominating women must be affirmed Further, Shakespeare uses the cuckoldry theme in the ring episode to initially depict Portia as a strong character capable of dominating Bassanio, the critic continues, but then eliminates it, thus removing "the prospect of permanent female rule from this comedy of temporary fe male ascendency. " Literally...

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This section contains 3,302 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Merchant of Venice Study Guide
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The Merchant of Venice from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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