Merchant of Venice Speech Analysis Essay

1152 Words Mar 4th, 2006 5 Pages
In this scene, Bassanio is at Portia's house, and he is trying to choose the casket with Portia's picture in it. If he chooses the right casket, he will get to marry Portia and gain all of her wealth as well. In the beginning of his speech, Bassanio is reacting to the song that is being sung by one of Portia's servants. As he gives his speech, we are captivated by his many metaphors and by the suspense of his words. The entire time he is speaking, we wonder which casket he will ultimately choose. Before this scene, Portia explained that in her father's will, he set her marriage up in a way that men from all over the world will have to travel to Portia's estate. The men would then have to choose between three caskets and if one …show more content…
In the next five lines, Bassanio says, "So are those crisped snaky golden locks // Which make such wanton gambols with the wind // Upon supposed fairness, often known // To be the dowry of a second head // The skull that bred them in the sepulchre." In the first line of this section, he is saying that Portia's hairs are fair "golden locks" that make uncontrollable gambles with the wind, meaning that her hair is meant not to move in the wind. Then he continues by saying that the hair and its "supposed fairness," or fake beauty, is often a wig made from the hair of a dead person. In the next five lines, Bassanio says, "Thus ornament is but the guiled shore // To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf // Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word // The seeming truth which cunning times put on // To entrap the wisest." He is saying that the fairness is a deception, and that the fair hair is covering darker hair. Continuing from the last line to the next line, he says, "Therefore, thou gaudy gold // Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee." Bassanio is comparing the gold casket to the legend of Midas, who was a mythological king whose greed of gold killed him when everything he touched turned to gold. He

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