The Complexity of Relationship Scale for MOV

Bassanio and Portia engage in a relationship based upon nothing but a look from one to the other. They are overcome with this psuedo-love. So much so that Bassanio is willing to risk his friend’s life to pursue Portia. The total amount of time that Bassanio and Portia have spent together is so slim that it hardly seems worth the three thousand ducats he solicits from a sworn enemy. On the other side of this relationship, Portia is hardly involved. She merely believes that she could love Bassanio, that he is better than any other suitor to come her way. Of him she says, “I remember him well, and I remember him worthy of thy [nerissa’s] praise” (1.2). This hardly seems to be a description of true love.

Lorenzo and Jessica, however, have real affection and true experiences together. Their plans to be with one another do not involve schemes or money. They are simply interested in being with one another, not being with one another’s fortune or lack of fortune. Jessica is willing to give up her religion in order to be with Lorenzo, providing the old adage that “love is blind” to the follies and transgressions of the individual (2.6). Lorenzo is a master of action, and unlike Bassanio, he needs only to catch Jessica in her earnest confession of love, a leap of faith. Their relationship clearly is both more filled with true love and is more complex in deeds rather than words and money.

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