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I don't know what it is about your posts that send the usual suspects into their self righteous foaming at the mouth frenzies, or attempting to belittle your questions with useless sarcasm, but I usually enjoy reading them even if they are esoteric at times.
I think the easiest way to rationalize it for you, and maintain verisimilitude has already been pointed out.
In movies you often see shields being used to block straight on stabbing shots or two handed overhead chops as if they were a wall. The reality is you don't hold the shield and try to brace it against the blow. That's a quick way to wind up with a broken arm. You use it to deflect the blow by keeping it at an angle or twisting it just as the blow comes in so that the blade slides off the side.
The Ac bonus increases as the size of the shield goes up not because the shield is more durable or thicker (thought it usually is to a degree), but because it's covering a wider area and harder to get past.