Compare and contrast Portia and Jessica in The Merchant of Venice.

QuestionsCompare and contrast Portia and Jessica in The Merchant of Venice.
Arihant asked 12 months ago

Draw a comparison between the two female characters Portia and Jassica in William Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice”.

2 Answers
Vedant somani answered 3 months ago

Jessica was not a good daughter. She broke her father’s trust. She ran with a Christian (Lorenzo) knowing that his father, Shylock hated the Christians. She also stole her father’s ducats and jewellery.

On the contrary, Portia is a true daughter. Even though his father is dead, she does not break her father’s will. She is ready to sacrifice her life by marrying to any person who chooses the right casket. She loved Bassanio but yet she did not tell Bassanio which was the right casket although she gave him some hints.

Aatmaja Bhattacharjee answered 2 weeks ago

Jessica shows herself as a shrewd and prudent lady, by betraying her father Shylock. Shylock was a Jew, but Jessica eloped with a Christian (Lorenzo) in spite of knowing that her father hated the Christians. She didn’t even think about her father’s emotions. He loved her daughter and cared about her, but she regarded Shylock as a devil.

On the other hand, Portia was a kind and gentle girl. She highly respected her father, though he was dead. Her father set up a will where a person who chose the right casket (which contained a portrait of Portia) would marry her. Portia was so devoted to her father that she decided to sacrifice her life by marrying the person who chose the right casket even if she didn’t like him.

Here lies the main difference between Portia and Jessica.

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