Portia's response to Bassanio's choice of the lead casket is similarly a set piece of self-abnegation and self-annihilation: "an unlessoned
girl, unschooled, unpracticed" (3.2.159); upon Bassanio, "her lord, her governor, her king" (3.2.165) she bestows "this house, these servants, and this same myself" (3.2.170).
It is not, of course, that Shakespeare is writing an economic treatise or ethics manual, but his sympathies are clear: Portia's dead father is not seen as a tyrant but as a "holy" and wise father (1.2.27), nor can his entail be construed as constraining but should be rather interpreted as freeing the young betrothed, "unlessoned
, unschooled, unpracticed" (3.2.159), from an inexperienced decision.
When he steps forward and asks her to confirm that he has indeed won her hand in marriage, Portia modestly declares herself merely "an unlessoned
girl, unschooled, unpracticed" (3.2.159), who will submit herself to the direction of her new husband.
It's not quite a ``Da Vinci Code'' for the Ashland-bound, but this nonfiction book does bring Claire Asquith's longtime scholarship on the Bard to what he might call the "unlessoned
, unschooled, unpracticed" literary masses.
My youngest but one who was not the last but the first to be placed on the list of unfortunates, or the second eldest who won the second prize of evils, bonds in the place of death, or the youngest who, if he does go, will go on a journey of truly evil omen, unlessoned
by the misfortune of his brothers?' (14) Here, then, the verb is employed to represent the expression of feelings of profound grief and a sense of loss, and, more specifically, the type of anguish engendered at finding oneself caught in a choice between two equally painful fates.