One could argue that Bassanio is not in love with Portia and is simply using her as a way to gain enough money to pay off his enormous debts. In act one, scene one, Bassanio petitions Antonio to lend him money for the journey to Belmont, where he will hopefully win Portia's heart and share her wealth. Bassanio begins his conversation by lamenting about his propensity to acquire debt and poor money-management skills before introducing his plan to court Portia. Bassanio tells Antonio,
In Belmont is a lady richly left, And she is fair and—fairer than that word—Of wondrous virtues. Sometimes from her eyes I did receive fair speechless messages. Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued To Cato’s daughter, Brutus' Portia (1.1.163–168).
If one were to examine Bassanio's description of Portia, he in no way indicates that he plans on falling in love with Portia. Bassanio's primary motivation is to become rich, and he views Portia as his ticket. Even after Bassanio chooses the right casket, he...
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