Is Portia in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice a static character Beate Wilhelm Author
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Essay from the year 2004 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,8, University of Freiburg (Anglistisches Institut), course: Introduction to literary studies, language: English, abstract: In William Shakespeare's drama The Merchant of Venice, certain characters are getting more and more involved into the action of the play. That takes place in a manner which might give the reader or spectator the impression that some characters even change their character traits. According to Manfred Pfister, figures who 'undergo a process of development in the course of the text' (Pfister 1991: 177f.) are called dynamic. 'Their [...] features change, either in a continuous process or in disjointed series of jumps' (Pfister 1991: 177f.). Static characters, however, remain static throughout the play and do never change. Only 'the receiver's perception of them may gradually develop, change or expand under the influence [...] of information' (Pfister 1991: 177f.). In this essay, Portia of Belmont shall be focused on by giving an outline of her character and on this basis it shall be analysed whether she is a static character or not.

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