In Act 2 Scene 9 of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, we were presented with the Prince of Aragon and Portia. Now, the second man is trying to attempt to guess the right casket. Unfortunately, along with the Prince of Morocco, Portia doesn’t want to be with this man either. Portia goes through the same routine by leading the Prince of Aragon to the casket and letting him choose between the three caskets. Aragon feels confident with his choice. He choses the silver casket very easily.
He figures that just like the phrase on the casket says, he shall get what he deserves. Something or many things that he has done throughout his life must have provoked this though because this thought does not come from every man. The prince is presented with the key in which he uses to open the silver casket. Inside he finds a portrait of an idiot winking at him along with a note. The note is a poem saying that he too is a fool. The Prince of Aragon leaves the building just as a messenger arrives. The messenger says that there is a Venetian man who has arrived to take a guess at a casket.
This here along with Act 2 Scene 7, to me, is a great usage of comic relief. A man who has traveled from a foreign area has come to win the rights of marriage to this wealthy woman. His confidence is overwhelming that he will guess the right casket. When he picks, he is wrong and denied the rights of marrying Portia. I find this to be hilarious. It just seems like one of those wow-what-an-epic-fail moments that you find in some stories. Also, the ending touch of a new man wanting to guess gave me an extra burst of excitement to read the next few scenes until I could find out who the man is.
Courtney from Study Moose
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