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The ambassador of love is none other than Launcelot Gobbo, the servant of Bassanio.

Portia has been participating in the casket test, a clever game designed by her late father to winnow out the gold-diggers from the genuine suitors. All seemed to be going according to plan: all of...

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The ambassador of love is none other than Launcelot Gobbo, the servant of Bassanio.

Portia has been participating in the casket test, a clever game designed by her late father to winnow out the gold-diggers from the genuine suitors. All seemed to be going according to plan: all of the suitors showed themselves to be unsuitable by choosing the wrong casket.

That said, Portia becomes more than a little tired with the game. She's deeply in love with Bassanio and wants him to turn up as soon as possible, choose the right casket—with a little gentle coaxing from Portia—and then they will be able to get married and live happily ever after.

When a messenger arrives to tell Portia of the arrival of the "ambassador of love," he speaks very highly of the servant's master, a polite young man who has sent the lady some expensive gifts. But Portia is rather skeptical, thinking that perhaps her latest suitor is a relative of the messenger rather than the man of her dreams. To confirm for herself, Portia heads off with Nerissa to get a good look at this supposedly delightful young man.

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