* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice

Nerissa

Character Analysis

Nerissa is Portia's woman in waiting (read: her sidekick). At the beginning of the play, she acts as a sounding board to Portia. She listens to Portia complain about her life and the unfairness of the casket contest and tells her to suck it up and be glad her father was wise enough to plan for his daughter's future. This, of course, tells us that Nerissa is a very practical girl. Hmm. This must be why she agrees to marry Graziano if Bassanio can win Portia. Read all about it in our analysis of Graziano.

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement