From Act 3 Scene 2 of Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare where was the scroll and give the summary of what was written in the scroll?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act Two, Scene 3 Bassanio decides which casket he will choose in order to win Portia. After viewing the first casket made of gold Bassanio chooses not to open it because he believes that beauty and outward appearances can be deceiving. He also decides not to open the second casket made of silver for similar reasons. Bassanio successfully chooses the third casket made of silver, which has a picture of Portia inside along with a scroll. Before opening the lead casket, Bassanio mentions that its "paleness moves me more than eloquence." Bassanio then opens the casket and reads the scroll, which reads as follows:

"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" (Shakespeare, 3.2.137-145).

Essentially, the scroll says that the person who does not choose solely on appearances has the best luck and made the right choice. It instructs Bassanio to be happy with the person he has won and urges him not to look for another love. It also instructs Bassanio to accept his prize and enjoy his blissful destiny, then it directs Bassanio to turn to where his lady is and give her a loving kiss.

andrewnightingale eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bassanio finds the scroll in the lead casket, which is the right choice.

The scroll reads:

You (the person) who chose not by sight alone (who was not misled by the glitter of gold or silver) stood a fair chance and has made the right (true) choice.

Since you have been so fortunate (to have chosen correctly), be happy with your choice for there is no need to look any further.

If you are satisfied with this and see this stroke of luck as a symbol of your (future) happiness, turn to your lady and claim her with a warm, passionate kiss.

Bassanio then praises the kindness of the scroll and turns to Portia and seeks her permission to claim his prize (Portia), which he has won as if he had competed against another in a fair contest. He humbly states that he is overwhelmed and wonders if he is worthy of his prize, unsure if she is actually his or not. He further states that he is still doubtful until his claim is confirmed and signed by Portia.  

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The Merchant of Venice

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