Answers

2014-08-16T19:20:44+05:30
At her house in Belmont, Portia pleads with Bassanio and reveals her preference for him.  She asks him to hang out with her for a month or two before he takes the casket test, as she'd rather have him around for a while before he's forced to leave her company if (when?) he makes the wrong choice.  She carefully says her feeling isn't love, but also she wouldn't have such feelings if she hated him.  (It's the Shakespearean equivalent of "I sort of don't hate you so maybe you want to hold hands at recess?")Portia quibbles on what's just, given her father's will.  She'd like to teach Bassanio how to interpret the challenge (read: cheat) so he'll choose the right casket, but that would be breaking her oath.  Of course, if he makes the wrong choice, she'll sin anyway by wishing she had broken her oath.Portia does some more fawning and swooning over Bassanio, and he simply replies that he'd like to take the test now, as all this waiting around is like being on the rack (a medieval torture device used to stretch people until they broke).Portia plays along and asks what treason Bassanio has committed that he deserves the rack.  Bassanio clarifies quickly: he says he's guilty of mistrust – he is fearful to love Portia fully now, as he can't trust that he'll be around much longer after the casket test.  Still, he says, there's nothing off or untrue about his love for her.
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