In act 1, scene 2, of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, the audience learns that Portia's father has decreed in his will that, in order for Portia to inherit his money and property, Portia must agree to marry the man who correctly chooses one of three small caskets of gold, silver, and lead.
Later in the play, when the Prince of Morocco appears as a suitor to Portia and he's given an opportunity to view the caskets and to make his choice, the audience learns more about these caskets:
MOROCCO. The first, of gold, who this inscription bears:
Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire.
The second, silver, which this promise carries:
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves.
This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt:
Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath.
How shall I know if I do choose the right?
PORTIA. The one of them contains my picture, prince;
If you choose that, then I am yours withal. (2.7.4–12)
As Portia explains to the Prince, her father has...
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