Does Bassanio love Portia’s wealth more than her?

QuestionsDoes Bassanio love Portia’s wealth more than her?
Mdhussain asked 2 years ago

In Act 1, Scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice, Bassanio describes Portia’s money first and then her beauty. Does this show, in any way, that Bassanio loves Portia’s wealth more than her?

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1 Answers
Jayanta Kumar Maity Staff answered 2 years ago

When Bassanio was talking with Antonio, he said about Portia:

In Belmont is a lady richly left,
And she is fair and—fairer than that word—
Of wondrous virtues.

Actually Bassanio was talking about how bad his finances had been of late and trying to convince Antonio about his chances to repay Antonio the money he owed and even the present sum that he was asking for to go to Belmont. So it may seem very natural for him to mention Portia’s wealth first and then her beauty. At least for Antonio, her beauty or virtues should not make more sense than what her wealth would. From that direction it was just the need of the context or situation.

But, if we try to guess whether Bassanio would have shown any interest in Portia without her inheritance, the equation would be different. Bassanio has talked about taking one more risk by throwing one second ‘arrow’. So I think, he is actually running after Portia’s wealth more than her love.

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