'Is that the Law?': Portia's Mockery of Justice in The Merchant of Venice

Italian Society for Law and Literature, January 2010

19 Pages Posted: 1 May 2010

Date Written: December 26, 2009

Abstract

In this paper I examine the role performed by the disguised lawyer Portia during the trial Shylock vs. Antonio in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. With reference to the social, political and economic background of the Elizabethan age, I will explore Portia’s conception of justice, trying to assess if she acts as a loyal and equitable judge or as a vile impostor and investigating to what extent her conduct can be regarded as a model by modern lawyers or as a mere play upon the words.

Keywords: Shakespeare, law, justice, equity, interpretation

Suggested Citation

Linciano, Roberta, 'Is that the Law?': Portia's Mockery of Justice in The Merchant of Venice (December 26, 2009). Italian Society for Law and Literature, January 2010 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1597235

Roberta Linciano (Contact Author)

University of Salento ( email )

via Taranto 35
Lecce, 73100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.unisalento.it

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