Is Bassanio truly in love with Portia in "The Merchant of Venice"?Please explain Is Bassanio truly in love with Portia in "The Merchant of Venice"?

Expert Answers
amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm sure many people can answer this question in just as many different ways, but for my reading of this play, I would answer that Bassanio is not truly in love with Portia.  My explanation is this:  Bassanio has lost his fortune through wasteful spending and needs another one.  Portia has such a fortune left to her by her dead father.  So, Portia is his "quest".  Now, it doesn't hurt that Portia is beautiful.  In fact, Bassinio describes her in Act I scene i in the play as "fair and fairer than that word/ of wondrous virtues".  He recognizes that she is the perfect woman...with money.  He also enjoys the risk in wooing her...he has put everything on the line...rather like having to shoot a second arrow in order to find out where the first one landed, his "risk" is double or nothing.

Unless Bassinio disregards his need for the money that winning Portia's heart and hand in marriage brings, I don't see how anyone viewing or reading this play could argue that he truly pursues her for love alone.

vikas1802 | Student

this is a very good and interesting question to ask because there are two causes i found in the play-

  • one that occer in my mind that bassanio falled in love with portia and he has the strong desire to wooing her.
  • the other one that i feel that he had eye of the money that portia has.we know that he was beautiful and very rich character.

so i think this is the two points in which we should think very carefully.

Read the study guide:
The Merchant of Venice

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question