Merchant of Venice

Why do you think Bassanio chooses the "lead casket"?

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.

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Last updated by mima j #216067
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You are essentially correct. Bassanio laments about how people are too concerned with outward appearances rather than the substance inside. He also thinks that, if this is indeed a test, nobody will suspect lead of carrying such treasure.

The lead casket read:

"Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath".

It is indeed true that Bassanio was not swayed by the outer appearance of gold or silver and the captions that they read. Taking into consideration the fact that Lady Portia's father was a virtuous man and as Nerissa said in ACT I SCENE II:

" Your father was ever virtuous, and holy men at their death have good inspirations..."

we are obliged to think that Lady Portia's father must have had thought of a watertight plan so as to give his daughter and wealth to a deserving suitor. In my opinion the caption on the lead casket itself says the needful.

"Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath".

Whoever seeks true love must give and should not expect anything in return and should be ready to take all the risks for his beloved. That is the reason, in my view, that prompted Lady Portia's father to devise such a caption for base lead. Morocco mocked at it by saying in ACT II SCENE VII:

"Must give for what? For lead, hazard for lead?"

He was swayed by appearance and lead by lust in choosing gold. Bassanio on the other hand was not swayed by appearance and he chose the right casket.

bassanio has a different thinking than other suitor who came to choose the caskets.he thinks that we should not look at the outer appearence even though it attracts us you should look at the inner view and he is not fooled by it.lead is very dull & cheap and it is useful to us in many ways.in the lead casket it was writen "he who chooses me must hazard everything he hath' basannio was ready to hazard everything for portia and he chooses the lead the right one and wins her as his wife

Source(s)

the merchant of venice book