I feel that another significant symbol in this play is Portia's ring. Although it is not mentioned in the symbols as given above, it is definitely an important symbol. A ring was given to Bassanio by Portia in Act III, Scene II, when Bassanio passes the casket test and is authorized to marry her. Portia gives Bassanio a ring stating that this ring signified their love and that she is handing over herself and her worldly possessions to Bassanio when she gave him that ring. However she lays the condition that the day that he loses, sells or gi... Read more →
What a semantic freak. These are essays through and through, no ifs or buts about it. An essay is any piece of organized writing with a cohesive theme, purpose, or message. In fact, this very response I’m typing here could very well be called an essay, even if I ended the post right here. It doesn’t matter what the UCs call these essays. “Essay” is a generic term that readily applies here. Trying to discourage people from calling these pieces of writing “essays” is insanity, just like it would be to discourage the use of the word “person” simply because you may prefer a different term, like “human.”
For our purposes, perhaps the most important point is that both positions highlight a series of factors important to responsibility and mutual accountability. These factors include: general responsiveness to others (for instance, via moral reasoning or feelings such as sympathy); a sense of responsibility for our actions (for instance, so that we may offer reasons for our actions or feel emotions of shame or guilt); and tendencies to regard others as responsible (for instance, to respect persons as the authors of their deeds and to feel resentful or grateful to them). In each case, note that the first example in brackets has a typically Kantian (reason-based) cast, the second a Humean (feeling/emotion-related) cast.