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Who are the suitors of Portia in The Merchant of Venice?

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joshua71093 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 19, 2009 at 7:10 PM via web

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Who are the suitors of Portia in The Merchant of Venice?

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lit24 | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted October 19, 2009 at 10:52 PM (Answer #1)

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The three suitors who wished to marry Portia are:

1. The Prince of Morocco, who although dark complexioned is a brave warrior and a passionate lover:

"Mislike me not for my complexion,
The shadow'd livery of the burnish'd sun,
To whom I am a neighbour and near bred.
Bring me the fairest creature northward born,
Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles,
And let us make incision for your love,
To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine.
I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine
Hath fear'd the valiant: by my love I swear
The best-regarded virgins of our clime
Have loved it too: I would not change this hue,
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen." Act II Sc. 1

2. The second suitor who tries to win  Portia is the Prince of Arragon. In Act II Sc. 9, Nerissa's opening remarks reveal that the Prince of Arragon has arrived and that he intends to straightaway try his luck at winning the hand of Portia:

"Quick, quick, I pray thee; draw the curtain straight:
The Prince of Arragon hath ta'en his oath,
And comes to his election presently."

3. The third suitor is Bassanio who tries his luck in winning the hand of Portia in Act III Sc.2.  He chooses the correct casket and gets to marry Portia. He is successful because he was not misled by the outward appearance of the caskets:

"You that choose not by the view,
Chance as fair and choose as true!
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content and seek no new,
If you be well pleased with this
And hold your fortune for your bliss,
Turn you where your lady is
And claim her with a loving kiss."

 

 

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