Another suitor comes to try his luck
Another suitor, the Prince of Arragon, takes his oath and comes to choose one of the caskets. Portia tells him that if the chosen casket would contain her picture, Portia would become his bride. But if he chooses wrongly, he must leave immediately.
Other terms of the lottery
Prince Arragon says that he has taken oath for three conditions. Firstly, he can never disclose to anyone which casket he had chosen. Secondly, if he chooses wrongly, never in his life can he ask a maiden for her hand in marriage. And lastly, if he fails, he must leave immediately. Portia says that these are the hazards people must take for her “worthless self”.
Arragon is full of self-importance
Arragon looks at the lead casket and rejects it as it was not alluring to him and he was not keen to take the risk. He shows some insight when he rejects the gold casket because choosing what all men desire, would make him equal to ‘barbarous multitudes’. However, he displays self-importance and conceit when he chooses the silver casket as he thought that he was the most deserving.
Arragon also chooses unwisely
The silver casket did not contain Portia’s picture but a picture of foolish looking person with staring eyes with a scroll. His is stunned and says that is this all that he deserves? The scroll reads that he is a fool for choosing on the basis of appearance. With a heavy heart and feeling insulted, he leaves at once.
Bassanio arrives at Belmont
Portia comments that he was another one of those fools who thought that they were deserving suitors. Then the servant comes and tells Portia that a Venetian has arrived to tell them that his master is approaching. He praises him. Portia also gets excited after learning about the arrival of a Venetian suitor. Nerissa says that she hopes that it must be Bassanio.
Act 5 : Scene 1