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Appearance: Always Not a True Factor to Judge Character of a Person

  • Date Submitted: 05/09/2010 02:44 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 63.3 
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William Shakespeare has become a very critical landmark in English literature. He provides our society with a range of moral and valuable lessons that put him ahead of his time through his work. His play, The Merchant of Venice, provides the readers with a very significant lesson. Through the casket plot, the different portrayals of certain groups, and the portrayals of people, he is able to prove that appearance is not always reality.
During the novel, Shakespeare uses the casket plot to prove that appearance is not always reality. This plot shows the audience that everything shouldn’t be judged for what it looks like. Shakespeare first shows how appearances can be deceptive by the use of the golden casket. For instance, the Prince of Morocco is put to the casket test and he chooses the casket made of gold because it is the most valuable and the most appealing: “Is`t like that lead contains her? Twere damnation to think so base a thought; it were too gross to rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave. Or shall I think in silver she immur’d, being ten times undervalued to tried gold? O sinful thought! Never so rich a gem was set in worse than gold” (38). This perspective of the Prince of Morocco shows that he is shallow and judges everything upon appearance instead of reality. Since Portia is very beautiful, he feels that she is a representation of gold. From this unjustified judgement, the Prince, then has to spend the rest of his life being a lonely man. In fact, Shakespeare uses the Prince of Arragon’s judgement in the casket plot to show that appearance is not the first thing to be looked at. This time, the Prince of Arragon rejects the lead casket for its dull look and unworthy value: “’Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath.’ You shall look fairer ere I give or hazard” (42). This judgement from the Prince of Arragon also shows that he first looks for the appearance. As he comes to judge the lead casket, he immediately rejects the casket for how...


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