(Not the brightest bulbs in the hardware store)
rinces = LOSERS!!! That's all I have to say about that. The two Princes who come to vie for Portia's hand are just there to make the wrong choices (Morocco - Gold, Aragon - Silver) so that we the audience can see what happens when someone chooses the wrong casket.
Some scholars say that Portia's three suitors represent three different kinds of love:
Prince of Morocco = Sensual love
Prince of Aragon = Love controlled by intellect
Bassanio = Spiritual love
Okay, whatever, if you want to go in for that scholarly stuff. I think it's just fun to see two such pompous dorks completely screw up and have to walk out with their tails between their legs.
First let's look at Morocco, who really thinks he's hot stuff:
"I would o'erstare the sternest eyes that look,
Outbrave the heart most daring on the earth,
Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear,
Yea, mock the lion when 'a roars for prey,
To win thee, lady" (II.ii.27-31)
What a load of horse----! This guy is a little too sure of himself. We can all see he's completely b.s.-ing so he can get Portia's money, and he probably doesn't care about Portia at all! So that's why it's especially funny when he picks the wrong casket and has to say:
"Portia, adieu. I have too grieved a heart / to take a tedious leave. Thus losers part" (II.viii.76-77).
That's right! LOSERS part!!! He knows he's a loser. And notice how he just bolts out of there - it isn't because his heart is "too grieved" for long goodbyes, it's because he knows he's a LOSER and he's embarrassed. HA, HA!
Next, let's look at Aragon. We don't get to know him as well as Morocco (who appears in two scenes to Aragon's one), but we can see from his one scene that this Aragon guy thinks he's really smart. Just look at how he repeats the instructions of the contest back to Portia, just to show how intelligent he is:
"I am enjoined by oath to observe three things:
First, never to unfold to anyone
Which casket 'twas I chose; next, if I fail
Of the right casket, never in my life
To woo a maid in way of marriage;
If I do fail in fortune of my choice,
Immediately to leave you and be gone"
But it's easy to see that the Prince of Aragon doesn't think he'll ever have to "leave...and be gone," because he's sure he'll guess right. He proceeds to go into a lengthy summation of each casket and which is the correct one, and then he guesses WRONG! Go ahead and have a laugh at his response:
Still more fool I shall appear / by the time I linger here. / With one fool's head I came to woo, / but I go away with two. / Sweet, adieu. I'll keep my oath, / patiently to bear my wroth (II.ix.73-78).
Ok, so he admits he was a fool, so maybe he's not as annoying as Morocco. He's smart enough to act like a good sport. But you just know he's kicking himself!!
And that's really about all there is to say about that!
Go , or if you're feeling geeky, visit the Princes' Links.
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