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 The merchant of Venice

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مُساهمةموضوع: The merchant of Venice   الأحد يناير 04, 2009 6:40 pm

Merchant of Venice


Page 58


?Why did Antonio agree to sign the contract with ShylockAntonio agreed to sign the bond even though it contains a threat to his life. He did so in order to enable his friend, Bassanio, to marry his beloved Portia. Antonio also had no doubts that he would be able to pay the debt in due time

? Who was Portia
Portia was a beautiful young lady. Her house was full of many suitors who wanted to win her hand. In order to marry her, they had to choose between three caskets. The right one contains her portrait. Portia was also Bassanio’s beloved girl who cleverly disguised as a lawyer and saved Antonio from Shylock’s knife at the court.

?What did Portia give to Bassanio and what did he say afterwards
Portia gave Bassanio a ring. Bassanio sweared never to part with it and that he would wear it until his death and take it to his grave.

Who decided to get married after Portia had agreed to marry Bassanio?
After Portia had agreed to marry Bassanio, Gratiano decided to marry Nerissa, Portia’s maid. Bassanio and Portia were surprised for they did not know the love between these two.

What bad news did Bassanio receive shortly after Portia had agreed to marry him?
After Portia had agreed to marry Bassanio, he received a letter from his best friend, Antonio. Antonio informed his friend that he lost all his fortunes in the sea and thus he could not repay the loan to Shylock.

? Why did Portia marry Bassanio before he went back to Venice

?How did Portia plan to help Antonio
Portia dressed in a lawyer’s clothes with a lawyer’s wig, gown and thick spectacles. Her maid dressed in clerk’s clothes with a clerk’s wig, gown and spectacles. Portia acted cleverly as a wise lawyer and managed to save Antonio from Shylock’s knife.

What was written in the letter that Portia gave to the Duke of Venice?
It was written that Doctor Bellario, an old famous lawyer and Portia’s cousin, sent this young learned lawyer with his recommendations to the court.

? What did Portia say about mercy
Portia gave a beautiful speech saying that mercy drops from heaven as gentle rain. She also said that mercy is found in king’s hearts and that it is related to God. She begged the Jew to have mercy on Antonio and spare his life.

? Did Shylock want revenge more than money
Yes, he did. Shylock was offered to take twice or three times the money he lent Antonio. However, he preferred Antonio’s pound of flesh over money. He hated Antonio and was ready to do anything in order to have his revenge on him.

? How did Portia’s wisdom save Antonio’s life
Portia’s wisdom and cleverness saved Antonio’s life from Shylock’s sharp knife. Her argument was that Shylock had to take only one pound of Antonio’s flesh no more no less without shedding a drop of blood. Otherwise, the Venetian law would take over all of Shylock’s money and he could be executed.

Why could not Shylock, after Portia had told him that he could not take Antonio’s flesh, take the money that Bassanio had offered him?
Shylock refused to take the loan in the open court. Therefore, the lawyer insisted that he had merely justice and his bond.

Antonio said that he would not take Shylock’s money if Shylock did what?
Antonio stated that half of Shylock’s money was to be taken from him by court and given to Antonio. The other half, which Shylock was able to keep for himself, was to be passed onto Jessica and Lorenzo after Shylock’s death.

?Why was Shylock angry with Jessica
He was angry with Jessica because she had taken all of his jewels, gold and ducats and had fled the country to marry the Christian, Lorenzo.
Bassanio offered to give the young lawyer two things. What were they?
Bassanio offered the lawyer the money he was supposed to give Shylock (6000 ducats). The lawyer refused and asked only for the ring Bassanio was wearing. Bassanio refused to part with the ring at first, as it was a gift from his wife. However, on Antonio’s request he gave it to the lawyer as a token of gratitude.

? Why did Gratiano give his ring to Nerissa
Gratiano gave his ring to the clerk after seeing Bassanio giving his to the lawyer. Gratiano was also so pleased that his friend, Antonio was saved.

? Why did Portia argue with her husband
Portia argued with her husband because he gave away the ring she gave him. He promised her earlier never to part with it. However, he gave it to the lawyer (Portia) who saved his precious friend’s life.

?What was written in the letters that Portia gave to Antonio
The letter that Portia gave Antonio at the end of the play carried the good news that three of Antonio’s ships reached the harbour safely.




















Quotation Questions

Page 65

“If I can once catch him out, I will feed the grudge…”Shylock said these words. He was talking about Antonio. Shylock stated the reasons behind his hatred of Antonio and his desire to kill him. Antonio despised Shylock and all the Jewish nation. He was also used to lend money without interest, which caused great embarrassment for Shylock and great loss for the only trade he is allowed to practice. The unfair ill treatment Shylock received from Antonio made him seek revenge upon Antonio.

“….then you have called me unbeliever, cut throat….”
These are Shylock’s words. He was talking to Antonio and reminding him of the insults and ill treatment he always meet him with. Shylock was surprised that Antonio dared to ask him for a loan. This situation tells us how unfair was Shylock treated.

“I am likely to call you names again…”
After Shylock had protested against Antonio’s ill treatment, Antonio said these words coldly. This proves that Antonio hated Shylock and all Jews. He also did not respect him, even though he had asked him for a loan.

“If you will lend me this money, do not …”
These words were said by Antonio to Shylock. He hated him intensely. Antonio was telling Shylock that even though he was borrowing money from him, he still hated him and considered him an enemy. These words indicate that Antonio treated Shylock unfairly.

“Tell me this, Bassanio, if he should break …”
Shylock said these words to Bassanio in the presence of Antonio. He was trying to comfort Bassanio by saying that his strange condition to have a pound of Antonio’s flesh if he couldn’t repay the debt within three months was a merry worthless condition. He added that he was only doing this to gain Antonio’s friendship. Of course, he was lying and his real intentions were to kill Antonio.


“I will sign this paper and say that there …”
Antonio said these words to Shylock and Bassanio. He agreed to sign the bond despite the strange condition it had. He was also making fun of Shylock by saying he is so kind. Antonio was always cruel and unkind to Shylock.

“Sir, I serve Shylock and want to leave …”
Shylock’s servant, Lancelot Gobbo, said these words. He was addressing Bassanio in Shylock’s house. Bassanio went there to invite Shylock to supper with him and Antonio. Gobbo hated Shylock’s dark house and wished to escape it. Therefore, he asked Bassanio to let him be his servant. Bassanio agreed because he wanted a servant to accompany him for his long trip to Belmont, where Portia lived.

“O Lorenzo, if you keep your promise …”
Jessica, Shylock’s beautiful daughter, said these words to herself while thinking of Lorenzo. She loved him greatly that she was ready to be a Christian and run away from her father in order to marry him.

“I hope you are both very happy…”
Gratiano said these words to his friend, Bassanio. After Bassanio had chosen the right casket and was about to marry Portia, Gratiano declared that he proposed to Nerrisa. Nerrisa said she would marry him only if her mistress, Portia married Bassanio. Portia and Bassanio were surprised, as they were not aware of the love between these two. The two couples were very happy.

“What, no more! Pay him 6000 ducats…”
Portia said these words in great surprise to Bassanio. Portia received a letter from Venice telling that Antonio was bankrupt and that Shylock was about to take a pound of his flesh. Portia offered to pay the money back to rescue the life of her husband’s dearest friend. Portia demanded that Bassanio marry her first and then hurry to save his friend.

“I will have my bond. I…”
Shylock said this to Antonio. Antonio was trying to reason with Shylock to have him abandon his cruel condition to have a pound of Antonio’s flesh. Shylock refused and insisted on fulfilling the bond. He only longed to have his revenge on Antonio.

17- “Come Nerissa, this is work for us …”
Portia said these words to Nerrisa. She was plotting away to rescue her husband’s friend, Antonio. Her plan was to disguise in a lawyer’s clothes, and go to court to save the man’s life.

“I am not bound to please you …”
Shylock said these words to Bassanio in a harsh way. Bassanio protested against Shylock’s cruel way of speaking. He was also shocked because Shylock had no mercy in his heart and would do anything to avenge himself on Antonio.

“It is wise to be merciful and you …”

“A Daniel is come to judgment...”
Shylock said these words describing the lawyer in the court scene. Bassanio offered to pay ten times the debt to the Jew. Shylock refused and demanded the execution of law. Bassanio asked the lawyer to ignore the law once in order to stop this cruel Jew and save a man’s life. The lawyer insisted on carrying out the law and fulfilling the bond. Shylock was overjoyed. He compared the lawyer to Daniel in his justice and wisdom.

“Then, Antonio, you must …”
Portia said this to Antonio, in the court scene, after she had finished reading Shylock’s bond. She declared that according to the bond, a pound had to be cut off Antonio’s flesh. She asked Antonio to say his last words and prepare to die.

“Your wife would not thank …”
Portia said this to Bassanio in the court scene. Bassanio offered his life, his wife and the whole world in return of the life of his dearest friend, Antonio. On hearing her husband willingly sacrificing her for the sake of his friend, she said this ironic statement. She was talking here as a wife not a lawyer.

“I am ill. Let me go home…”
Shylock said these words addressing the court in the court scene. He was not feeling well because of losing half of his wealth. Instead of having the revenge he dreamt of, he lost his money and his dignity. He wanted to leave immediately and have the papers signed at his home.

“I once did lend my body for his wealth…”
These are Antonio’s words. He was talking to Portia at her house. Portia discovered that her husband had given away his marriage ring to the lawyer who saved Antonio’s life. He argued with Portia to forgive Bassanio. Antonio said that he had once agreed to give away his life for his friend’s sake. However, the lawyer saved him. As a token of gratitude, Bassanio agreed to give the ring to the lawyer who asked only for it as a reward for rescuing Antonio. Antonio and Bassanio did not know then that the young strange looking lawyer is none but Portia.

“Yes, and I do recommend that… ”
Portia said these words to Bassanio and Gratiano. Bassanio was very surprised to learn that Portia was the clever lawyer. Gratiano felt the same on knowing that Nerrisa was the clerk. She advised them to get to know their wives better so they would recognize them in the future.









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The merchant of Venice
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