Merchant of Venice

picking the right casket

I am a little confused about the caskets and the logic in picking the right casket.

Are these actual caskets or just boxes? If they are really caskets, isn't that a little macabre? Finally, why is the lead casket considered threatening?

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"Casket" is just an Elizabethan word for a box. Each is an ornate metal container with a hinged lid.

The logic is that Bassanio, who has nothing, chooses the box that is worth nothing, and that's the right box. He wants Portia because he loves her. Morocco chooses gold because he loves riches and believes that gold represents Portia and all her wealth. Aragon chooses silver that is money, which again represents Portia. Bassanio refuses gold because he knows that "all that glisters is not gold." He also refuses silver, calling it "common drudge 'tween man and man," as coins are. He chooses lead because he knows that true worth lies inside, even if the outside doesn't look like much. The lead is more like HIM than like Portia.

see!one of the themes of the play is appearance verses reality...and that is what the dilemma of the play is as well.... so Bassanio's sixth sense is sharp enough that he can pass through the tricky game of the theme...i think you are missing out something from the condition put forward to the candidates by Portia's was a part of that condition that if a man fails to choose the right box HE SHALL PROMISE BEFORE LEAVING THAT HE WOULD NEVER GET MARRIED TO ANY OTHER WOMAN THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE!!!!!promising such a thing requires a true courage of a it is quite very much clear that only the person who truly loves Portia would make the promise and try his luck!!!!

i hope you would be quite clear now!!!!!

casket is a word for box. (if you've watched the 2004 version of the MOV, you'd see what it is)

the casket test is based a lot on christian teachings actually, that we should not choose based on what we see, and what we deserve, as we don't deserve that much anyway. choosing the lead casket involves risk as it might be the wrong one, and the to "hazard all he hath" is like making a leap of faith. so the reason why bassanio won would probably be because he was christian, unlike all the other suitors (e.g. prince of morocco, prince of arragon).