Appearance vs. Reality 3

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The merchant of Venice was written by Shakespeare. A merchant named Antonio borrows money from shylock a usurer. Bassanio, Antonio’s best friend, goes to Belmont as a suitor to Portia. What maybe on the outside might not be in the inside? The theme of appearance versus reality is showed through out the play.

The choosing of a particular casket of the three is used to show the appearance versus reality phenomenon. Portia’s suitors must choose either a gold, silver or lead casket. Whoever chooses the right casket will have the permission to marry Portia. The prince of Morocco chooses the rich gold casket which said “who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire,” (2.7 4-5) but when he opened it, it had a scroll in it. “All that glister is not gold,” (2.8 65) the silver casket was chosen by the prince of Aragon, “who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves,” (2.9 36-37) but instead there was a fool’s head. “The portrait of a blinking idiot.” (2.9 54) Bassanio however chooses the lead casket. “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.” Inside was a portrait of Portia with a scroll telling him that he can marry Portia.” Turn you where your lady is. And claim her with a loving kiss.”(3.2 157-158)

Another way that Shakespeare discusses appearance versus reality is when Portia and Nerissa disguise as a doctor of law and a clerk. They go to the court in an attempt to save Antonio from his problem with shylock. Portia asks shylock to be merciful “the quality of mercy is not strained.” (4.1 82) Portia was trying to defend Antonio however it went on to shylocks favour.” The court awards it and the law doth give it.” At the last moment, a flaw in the bond was revealed which saved Antonio’s life.” This bond doth give these here no jot of blood.” (4.1 304)

Bassanio deceives Portia into thinking he is rich. This quite an important point as it is linked to the main idea directly; the loan from shylock. Bassanio needed a large amount of ducat so he could...
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