Merchant of Venice

Act 2 Scene 1

what does the prince of morocco ask from Portia, and what does he say about blood?

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Mislike me not for my complexion,

The shadowed livery of the burnished sun,

To whom I am a neighbor and near bred.

Bring me the fairest creature northward born,

Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles,

And let us make incision for your love

To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine.

I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine

Hath feared the valiant. By my love I swear

The best-regarded virgins of our clime

Have loved it too. I would not change this hue

Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen.

He asks that she not hold his skin color against him, and he tells her that his blood runs as red as any man's.


The Merchant of Venice