Bassanio is Antonio’s best pal and what seems to be his secret love interest. Bassanio is the guy who is living beyond his means by borrowing money from Antonio and abusing his love. As the paly goes on, Bassanio comes off as a user. For instance, he takes advantage of Antonio’s unconditional love and keeps borrowing money from him, and even puts Antonio’s life at risk by having him cosign his loan from Shylock with a pound of Antonio’s flesh if the debt is unpaid. Also, the fact that Bassanio tries to get out of his debt by marrying the rich heiress Portia, where he clearly admits to in Act 1, Scene 1, line 165-175. Moreover, In the mentioned speech Bassanio describes his future wife based on her worth and value and describes her as if she is his debit clearing instrument.
Portia is the female heroine of the paly. She is the rich princess whom Bassanio wants to marry. The way Portia is described by Bassanio makes it seem like she has a perfect life. Yet the heiress to her dead fathers fortune is not allowed to pick her husband. Her father’s will says her husband to be must choose one of three caskets and the suitor that choses the casket with her portrait wins her as his bride. But if the suitor fails to choose the right casket they can never get married. With that Portia’s marriage is becomes lottery grand prize for one lucky suitor. Which comes to show how even though her father is deceased he still has some control of his daughter.
Shakespeare doesn’t only portray Portia as the pretty blond rich girl, but also shows another side to her. As the play progresses Portia ends up saving Antonio, by twisting the law in a brilliant way to make it work for her. She tricks everyone by hiding her true identity, and playing mind games on her husband. All in all she ends up having the upper hand