The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2488 Monday, 29 October 2001
Date: Sunday, 28 Oct 2001 17:06:37 -0800
Subject: Re: Merchant
It seems curious to me how Bassanio wants money but doesn't have it so
he goes to Antonio who doesn't have it so he goes to Shylock who doesn't
have it but asks Tubal to raise it. But the really curious thing is
that Bassanio doesn't really seem to need the money anyway.
There is never any mention by Portia that there is a fee for trying the
casket test. Also, why would Bassanio feel that he would have to appear
as a man of means since Portia is obviously sold on him even before he
shows up? In any case there is no evidence that he actually used any of
the money. It couldn't have been for travel expenses since Belmont,
wherever it is, can't be far from Venice since Portia is able to travel
there over night. The whole play hangs by the thread of: "... had I
but the means to hold a rival place ..."
Why didn't he just pop over to Belmont for the casket lottery and save
everyone all the trouble?
(Just kidding, of course.)
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