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VARIOUS TEXTS: THE CASKET SCENE IN SHAKESPEARE'S 'MERCHANT OF VENICE'

There are three suitors who bid for the hand of Shylock's daughter, Portia: they are the prince of Morocco, the prince of Aragon, and Bassanio, who Portia favours.
After much pondering, the prince of Marocco chooses the gold casket, reasoning that only the most precious metal could house the picture of such a beautiful woman. He opens the chest to reveal a skull with a scroll in its eye socket.
The prince of Aragon selects the silver one, confident that he “shall get as much as he deserves”. Inside, he finds a portrait of a blinking idiot, and a poem that condemns him as a fool.
Bassanio picks the lead casket, which he opens to reveal Portia’s portrait, along with a poem congratulating him on his choice and confirming that he has won Portia’s hand.

Here are the three inscriptions which the suitors find in the caskets:



Which of the three inscriptions would you attribute to the golden, silver and leaden casket respectively?

a. 'Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves;'

b. 'Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire;'

c. 'Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.'

1. the golden casket: ______
2. the silver casket: ______
3. the leaden casket: ______


The following words and phrases symbolize the three caskets. Can you assign them to the right caskets?

true, strive for sth. they cannot achieve, not deceived by false values, courageous, deceived by outward appearances, materialistic, not fooled by outward appearances, greedy, make compromises for comfort, conceited, modest, cautious, adore luxury, dishonest, generous, intelligent, greedy.

golden casket silver casket leaden casket.


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