'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
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
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