Abstract

Renaissance emblematic iconography suggests Portia’s similarity not to Justice or Mercy but to Fortuna or Occasio, figures who are virtually interchangeable in the Renaissance and are both admirably suited to a play about risk taking. References to Portia as prize and to her toppling of Shylock and rescue of Antonio’s merchandise suggest her affinity with Fortuna. Far from being impartial in her judgment, Portia rewards and punishes according to her desire. As the Fortuna of Venice, Portia is the marketplace’s opportunistic entrepreneur who most successfully negotiates the worlds of commerce and love.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 349-373
Launched on MUSE
2014-05-15
Open Access
No
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