Monday Mystery – The Riddle of the Chests

As the new week begins, the sacred ritual continues – the Monday Mystery! This week’s entry uses a riddle written into one of Shakespeare’s most famous (and infamous?) plays – The Merchant of Venice – and concerns the marriage of Portia, one of his strongest and most independent female leads.

Her father, wishing her to be happy, desires her to be married only to a suitor who can pick the correct option (containing Portia’s image) out of three chests,

“The first, of gold, who this inscription bears,
‘Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire;’
The second, silver, which this promise carries,
‘Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves;’
This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt,
‘Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.’ (Merchant II.vii.990-995)

Here’s three questions to ponder

1. What do you think the ‘right’ answer would be and why?

2. If you were in Portia’s shoes, which answer – ‘right’ or not – would you hope for?

3. When it comes to someone you love, which is most important to preserve – their freedom, their safety, or their happiness?

Thanks for coming out to see our Monday Mystery – see you tomorrow!

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