Shakespeare's Love Affair With Gender Analytical Essay by PoeticPanther

Shakespeare's Love Affair With Gender
Examines sexuality in the hands of powerful women and baffled men in Shakespeare's play "The Merchant of Venice".
# 61418 | 2,254 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2005 | US
Published on Oct 07, 2005 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis) , English (Comparison) , Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice)

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Using the ideas and motifs of the contextual text "Il Pecorone", William Shakespeare constructs a play - "The Merchant of Venice" - with a focus on sexuality and gender, creating equal grounds to contrast the characters Antonio and Portia. This paper shows that, adding a depth to the play that was not present in the original document, Shakespeare presents a world of romantic rivalry in which the woman assumes characteristics generally associated with the masculine - such as power, authority and self-control, while the man is shown as a weak character victimized by his own emotional instability.

From the Paper:

"Inspiration for the character of Portia is the Lady of Belmonte in the original text, a woman who uses her sexuality and power to lure gullible men into her trap. Highlighting the benefits of their visit, she counts on men's sexual greed and vulnerability to get them to accept the challenge and loose their ships - in a way she is the equivalent of hazardous storms that sailors face. The fact that the Lady's name is not specified strengthens her association with the supernatural, and establishes her as a strong character unaffected by human flaws. Her life experiences and maturity allow her to preserve the authority over her possessions and to make decisions about her future. As a widow, the lady defies the stereotype of a virginal maiden."

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Shakespeare's Love Affair With Gender (2005, October 07) Retrieved June 16, 2019, from

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"Shakespeare's Love Affair With Gender" 07 October 2005. Web. 16 June. 2019. <>