At Belmont,Portia discusses the terms of her FATHER’S WILL with her Confidante,Nerissa.
Portia discusses about the terms and conditions of her late father’s will to her maid,Nerissa.
According to the will of her late father,Portia cannot marry a man of her own choosing.
She is unable to choose any man for marriage and it’s all because of the will made by her late father,King of Belmont.Instead,she must make herself available to all suitors and has to accept the one who chooses rightly from among the three chest/casket of GOLD,SILVER & LEAD.Therefore, Nerissa tries to comfort Portia and tells her that surely her father knew what he was doing.She added by saying that whoever the man might be who finally chooses rightly surely he will be “one who shall rightly love”.
Portia deepens her thought on this saying.
Because none of her current suitors is the kind of man whom she would choose for herself “if she could choose”.
She cannot do so.However,for she gave her word that she would be obedient to her father’s last wishes.
Here Nerissa tries to remind Portia about a young gentleman.Nerissa asks her to reconsider the gentleman who courted her and she names the suitors who have come to Belmont
•A Nepolitan Prince,
•The County Palatine,
•A French Lord,Monsieur Let Bon,
•A young English Baron,Falconbridge,
•A Scottish Lord and
• A young German,the Duke of Saxony’s Nephew.Portia now comments on their individual faults,finding each one of them undesireable as a husband.
Fortunately, all of them have decided to return home, unwilling to risk the penalty for choosing the wrong casket/chest which is remaining a bachelor for the rest of their lives.
Then Nerissa reminds her of a fine mannered gentleman who came to Belmont while her father was living.His name was Bassanio,a Venetian,a scholar and a soldier.Portia recalls him effectively and praises him highly.
“HE, of all men that ever my foolish eyes looked upon,was the best deserving for a fair lady.”
A servant interrupts into their conversation and announces that a new suitor,the Prince of Morocco,will arrive that evening.