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Appearances and Reality

The caskets.

Both Morocco and Arragon are guilty of hypocrisy in choosing their caskets. Both criticise (or warn against) making decisions based on superficial judgements, yet do the same. Find quotations for each of these, for both Morocco and Arragon.

  • Morocco
  • Arragon


Both Bassanio and Portia enter Belmont and Venice (respectively) under false pretenses, and both achieve their goals. What do they want to achieve through their deception?

  • Why does Bassanio enter Belmont under false pretences?
  • Why does Portia enter Venice under false pretences?


  • Where do the Christians appear to value mercy in the play?
  • Where do they show a lack of mercy? Why do they refuse to do that which they profess to value?
  • Portia is guilty of being a hypocrite through showing mercy in one context but not in another. Explain.

Venturing, Commerce and Trade


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