What is the significance of the inscriptions of the scrolls in the three caskets?"All that glisters is not gold...your suit is cold" (2.7.65-73) "The fire seven times...you are sped" (2.9.62-71)...

What is the significance of the inscriptions of the scrolls in the three caskets?

"All that glisters is not gold...your suit is cold" (2.7.65-73)

"The fire seven times...you are sped" (2.9.62-71)

"You that choose...And claim her with a loving kiss" (3.2.131-138)

Expert Answers
appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The inscriptions communicate the importance of looking beyond surface qualities to see true character. Bassanio woos Portia initially for her money and social position, but eventually grows to love her. But his initial greed and shallowness would seem to predispose him to choose the gold or silver casket. It is Portia's ability to mete justice in Antonio's trial that shows she herself goes beyond being a mere noblewoman of wealth and position; she possesses wisdom and compassion as well, which are ultimately more valuable than monetary wealth.

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The Merchant of Venice

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