How does Bassanio win the right to marry Portia?

As her dead father’s will stipulates, Portia cannot decide for herself whether to take a husband, and her suitors must choose between three caskets in the hopes of selecting the one that contains her portrait. Bassanio wins the right to marry Portia because he solves the riddle and correctly chooses the right casket. While the other suitors have incorrectly chosen the gold or silver casket, Bassanio chooses the lead casket and finds a picture of Portia inside, signaling that he can claim her as his bride. Bassanio’s choice indicates that he is clever and not easily distracted by superficial charms. As the scroll inside the lead casket explains, “You that choose not by the view / Chance as fair and choose as true” (III.ii.135-136). Portia, who has already fallen in love with Bassanio, is delighted when he chooses correctly.

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