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The Merchant of Venice Essay | Critical Essay #7

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Critical Essay #7

[Pettigrew argues that Shakespeare portrays Bassanio as an ideal Elizabethan lover, a character whose "apparentfaults were to the Elizabethans mere conventional common places arlsingfrom the economic conditions of the age." Marryingfor money was not unusual during Sha/cespeare's time, the critic asserts, and often expected due to the rising cost of living during the Reno.issance and thefallingfortunes of the aristocracy. Nevertheless. Pettigrew states that the playwright went to great pains to make clear that not only Portia's wealth, but also her intelligence and beauty attract Bassanio. Furthermore, Portia reveals a typical Elizabethan attitude toward marriage in her remarks about suitors and husbands, and once she and Bassanio are wed, she shows no concern when he immediately assumes the right to use her fortune, ultimately, the critic determines that based on traditional Elizabethan courtship and marriage practices, Bassanio is a romantic hero, not a scheming opportunist]

In spite...

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This section contains 3,040 words
(approx. 11 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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