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Finally, of course, what we most remember about Portia, after the play is over, is her wit and her playfulness.Even when Portia is complaining to Nerissa about the terms of her father's will, she does so wittily: "Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one nor refuse none?She hopes, of course, to soften his heart, knowing the outcome if he refuses.
" To her, both of these men are shallow and greedy and self-centered; yet to their faces, she is as ladylike as possible.
Lorenzo appreciates this gentle generosity of spirit; when Portia has allowed her new husband to leave to try and help his best friend out of his difficulty, he says to her: "You have a noble and a true conceit / Of god-like amity." In the courtroom, Portia (in disguise) speaks to Shylock about mercy, but this is not merely an attempt to stall; she truly means what she says. Her request for mercy comes from her habitual goodness.
But Portia’s father’s will states that each suitor who wishes to take Portia’s hand in marriage, must choose one of the three caskets and the one who chooses the correct casket may have the fair Portia’s hand in holy matrimony. The arrogant, Prince of Arragon is the next suitor of Portia to take the trial of the three caskets. Portia, frightened by the fact that Bassanio could select the wrong casket, says to him, “I pray you tarry, pause a day or two/Before you hazard, for in choosing wrong/I lose your company…” (III. It’s important to remember that, in the beginning of the play, Bassanio is something of a spendthrift.
This trial, designed by Portia’s late father, allows him to screen through his daughter, Portia’s many suitors; even after his death. Morocco’s cocky attitude and belief that he’s searching for ‘what many men desire’, he choose the casket made of gold and learns that “All that glitters is not gold. The Prince entered the room in which the caskets laid and almost immediately showed no regard towards the caskets made of gold. He then selects the casket made of silver, which is inscribed with a promise, “Who chooseth me shall get as much as he/deserves. He had borrowed a considerable amount of money from Antonio that Shylock had loaned to Antonio so that Bassanio could voyage to Belmont from Venice to take his fair Portia’s hand in marriage.
The Three Caskets Three caskets; one of gold, one of silver, and one of lead.
Three caskets are set before many suitors who all would like to take Portia of Belmont’s hand in marriage. The Prince of Morocco then leaves Portia’s Belmont Estate, a very different person from ‘The Prince of Morocco’ that we were introduced to in the beginning of Act 2 compared to the character that in being portrayed now, in this part of the play. So The Prince of Arragon left Belmont, much in the same way The Prince of Morocco did, a shadow of his former self. Portia, who has an ever-lasting love for Bassanio, as does he for the fair Portia. Bassanio acknowledges Portia’s out cry and approaches the caskets to make his selection regardless.
She tells him that he is "as fair / As any comer I have look'd on yet / For my affection." She shows Morocco the honor his rank deserves.
But once he is gone, she reveals that she did not like him.
Bassanio's correct choice of the casket overwhelms Portia.
She wishes she had more of everything to give Bassanio: "This house, these servants and this same myself / Are yours, my lord: I give them with this ring." She willingly shares all she owns with Bassanio.