Merchant of Venice: Novel Summary: Act 3 Scene 2

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In this scene Bassanio chooses the lead casket in the lottery which bears the inscription, "Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath." This is a fitting choice for Bassanio to make since he has already hazarded the well-being of Antonio for the chance to win Portia.  He indeed does win her and she gives him a ring that he must never remove.  He promises that if it leaves his hand it will be because he's dead.  Gratiano takes Nerissa for his own wife.  Their happiness is cut short by the arrival of Salerio along with Jessica and Lorenzo.  They bring with them a letter from Antonio that he has failed to pay his debts and none of his ships are back.  Shylock has refused to reason and so Antonio is to die in paying the forfeiture.  Portia, upon hearing this, bids Bassanio to go and help his friend as soon as they have completed the wedding ceremony.  Bassanio promises to be faithful until his return.

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