The Merchant of Venice Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Why Did Prince Of Morocco Choose The Gold Casket

Which casket did the Prince of Morocco choose and why?

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seaofknowledge eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Prince of Morocco is given several options for the casket—lead, silver, and gold. He chooses the gold casket but it turns out that's not the right one. The inscription inside the gold casket tells the Prince of Morocco that he is bold but not wise, young but old-fashioned. He was not open-minded enough to think that Portia's picture may not be in the most valuable, most glittery and attractive casket. He is predictable in selecting the gold casket and he loses. He leaves empty-handed.

The next contender for Portia's hand selects the silver casket and he too fails. It's finally Bassanio who wins by selecting the lead casket. Bassanio wins because he makes his decision not based on outer appearance. He did not make the mistake of selecting the more valuable, better looking caskets. He did not judge based on appearance.

I think that this is a metaphor for a person who judges others based on their character and personality rather than their outer appearance. The one who forms an opinion of others based on their thoughts and actions is better than one who falls for outer beauty without a care for internal beauty.

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steph-rose eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Prince Morocco chooses the gold casket, and Act II, Scene VII is dedicated mostly to walking us through his reasons behind the choice.

The prince is trying to win Portia's hand in marriage. In order to do so, he must pass the test Portia's father has created for any of her potential suitors. As a suitor, he must choose from three caskets (decorative boxes) to try to find the one that holds a picture of Portia, which will be an indication that he has permission to marry her. Each box is made of different material; gold, silver, and lead. Each box also has an incription on it. For gold, the inscription reads, "Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire." On the silver casket, it says, "Who chooseth me, shall get as much as...

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bookworm2009 | Student

The Prince of Morocco chose the golden casket as he chose based on appearence itself. this shows that he choses by appearence and at the end of this scene, the quote "All that glitters is not gold, all that...." tells us that the prince of Morocco learns his lesson and a makes a "gentle riddance" -- leaves like a gentleman.

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lit24 | Student

In Act II Sc.7 the stage direction, "He unlocks the golden casket" clearly indicates to the readers that the Prince of Morroco chooses the golden casket.

The Prince is deceived by the external appearance of the golden casket and the inscription,

"Let's see once more this saying graved in gold
'Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.'
Why, that's the lady; all the world desires her"

and he makes the wrong choice.

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