Merchant of Venice Q A ALL

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1 Questions and Answers
Study Questions
1. What causes do Salerio and Solanio suggest for Antonio’s melancholy?
2. What humorous advice does Gratiano offer Antonio?
3. Why does Bassanio want Antonio to loan him more money?
4. Why is Portia angry with her deceased father?
5. Why does Nerissa tell Portia she “need not fear” her unwelcome suitors?
6. What do Portia and Nerissa think of Bassanio?
7. According to Shylock, why does he hate Antonio?
8. Why is Shylock indignant over Antonio’s request?
9. What is Antonio’s response to Shylock’s accusation?
10. In exchange for what does Shylock agree to lend Antonio and Bassanio the
money?
Answers
1. Salerio and Solanio think Antonio is distracted because his money is tied up in his
ships, which are sailing on dangerous seas. When he denies this suggestion,
Solanio guesses that he’s in love, an answer Antonio also rejects.
2. Gratiano tells Antonio not to be so grave about worldly affairs, but rather “With
mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come,/…Why should a man whose blood is warm
within/ Sit like his grandsire…/…And creep into the jaundice/ By being peevish?” In
other words, he suggests Antonio is acting old before his time.
3. Bassanio tells Antonio that “had [he] but the means” to compete with Portia’s
suitors, he would “questionless be...
2 Questions and Answers
Study Questions
1. Why does Morocco fear Portia will reject him at the outset?
2. What is Bassanio’s reservation about Gratiano accompanying him to Belmont?
3. What is Jessica’s dilemma concerning her father, Shylock?
4. How does Lorenzo plan to disguise Jessica in order for her to escape from her
father?
5. Before going to dine with Antonio and Bassanio, what advice does Shylock give
his daughter?
6. Why does Jessica not want Lorenzo to see her when he arrives at Shylock’s
house?
7. What is Morocco’s rationale for choosing the gold casket?
8. What news has Salerio heard, making him anxious?
9. How does Solanio interpret Antonio’s sadness at Bassanio’s departure?
10. Which casket does Aragon choose, and why?
Answers
1. Morocco fears Portia would not want to marry someone of his race. Upon entering
the play, he pleads: “Mislike not for my complexion/ The shadowed livery of the
burnished sun…”
2. Bassanio suspects that Gratiano will appear “too wild, too rude, and bold of voice”
for the people of Belmont. “[W]here thou art not known,” Bassanio warns, such traits
“show/ Something too liberal.”
3. Jessica believes it is a “heinous sin…/ To be ashamed to be [her] father’s child!”
Although she is Shylock’s daughter by “blood,” she claims not to be by...
3 Questions and Answers
Study Questions
1. Why, since it won’t result in any financial gain, does Shylock insist on the terms of
his bond with Antonio?
2. What news does Tubal bring Shylock?
3. Why does Portia want Bassanio to wait before facing the challenge of the three
caskets?
4. Why does Bassanio select the lead casket?
5. What does the lead casket contain?
6. What does Portia claim will occur if Bassanio gives up the ring she gives him?
7. What does Gratiano reveal after Bassanio solves the riddle of the three caskets?
8. Why does Portia allow Bassanio to leave before they get married?
9. According to Antonio, why won’t the Duke be able to intercede on his behalf?
10. What does Portia decide to do at the end of Act III?
Answers
1. Shylock wishes to cut off Antonio’s flesh in order to “feed [his] revenge. [Antonio]
hath disgraced [him]…laughed at [his] losses…scorned [his] nation, [and] thwarted
[his] bargains” out of (so Shylock claims) pure racial hostility.
2. Tubal tells Shylock that one of Antonio’s ships has been wrecked “coming from
Tripolis” and that Jessica has spent a great deal of his money.
3. Afraid that Bassanio will fail, but desirous of his company, Portia wishes to spend
as much time with him as possible.
4. Bassanio distrusts attractive surfaces, for fear they contain corrupt things. As he
addresses his choice, “But thou, thou meager lead/ Which rather threaten’st than
dost promise ought,/ Thy paleness moves me more to eloquence;/ And here choose
I.”
5. Inside the lead casket, Bassanio finds a picture of Portia—signifying his
success—and a scroll instructing him to kiss her.
6. If Bassanio does “part from, lose, or give away [Portia’s ring],/ …it [will] presage
the ruins of [his] love.”
7. Gratiano announces that he and Nerissa intend to marry.
8. Portia discovers, while reading Antonio’s letter, that he fears “it is impossible [he]
should live” and wishes to see Bassanio before he is killed.
9. “The Duke cannot deny the course of the law;/ For the commodity that strangers
have/ …in Venice, if it be denied,/ Will much impede the justice of the state.” In other
words, the Duke must uphold the law for non-citizens, so that Venice may maintain
its good standing in international business affairs.
10. Portia decides that she and Nerissa must go to Venice disguised as men, to help
resolve the situation there.
4: Questions and Answers
Study Questions
1. What does the Duke request of Shylock?
2. What reason does Shylock give for his wanting the pound of Antonio’s flesh?
3. Why does Antonio advise his friends to give up attempting to dissuade Shylock?
4. Why does Shylock believe the Duke must enforce the terms of the bond?
5. Why does Portia, disguised as the lawyer, initially conclude that Shylock’s bond
must be adhered to?
6. Although she acknowledges Shylock’s right to a pound of Antonio’s flesh, how
does Portia prevent the usurer from acting on it?
7. Why is Shylock stripped of his possessions?
8. Apart from the financial conditions, what does Antonio’s new arrangement
demand of Shylock?
9. What does the disguised Portia demand from Bassanio for her services?
10. Why is Bassanio reluctant to give up the ring?
Answers
1. The Duke asks Shylock if he will “not only loose the forfeiture,/ But touched with
human gentleness and love,/ Forgive a moiety of the principle,/ Glancing an eye of
pity on [Antonio’s] losses.” In other words, he asks Shylock to consider Antonio’s
financial predicament and not only accept money in place of the pound of flesh, but
also reduce the amount of the debt.
2. Shylock claims he can “give no reason, nor will [he] not,/ More than a lodged hate
and a certain loathing/ [He] bear[s] Antonio…”...
5 Questions and Answers
Study Questions
1. What message does Stephano deliver to Lorenzo and Jessica?
2. What opinion does Lorenzo hold of men who don’t like music?
3. What does Portia order her household not to do?
4. To whom does Nerissa claim to believe Gratiano gave his ring?
5. What does Portia threaten when Bassanio admits he gave the ring away?
6. What does Portia claim she will do if she encounters the doctor to whom
Bassanio gave the ring?
7. How does Antonio attempt to placate Portia?
8. What does Portia offer Bassanio to seal the new promise?
9. What secret does Portia reveal to the company?
10. What good news does Portia tell Antonio?
Answers
1. Stephano announces that Portia “will before the break of day/ Be here at Belmont.
She doth stray about/ By holy crosses where she kneels and prays/ For happy
wedlock hours.”
2. Lorenzo claims that “The man that hath no music in himself,/ Nor is not moved
with concord of sweet sounds,/ Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils” and is thus
not to be trusted.
3. Portia insists that no one reveal that she and Nerissa have been away from
home.
4. Nerissa claims whoever has the ring “will ne’er wear hair on’s face…” In other
words, she says she suspects him of giving it to a woman.
5. Portia swears that she “will ne’er come in [Bassanio’s] bed/ Until [she] see[s] the
ring!”
6. Portia says to Bassanio, “Since [the Doctor] hath got the jewel that I loved,/ And
that which you did swear to keep for me,/ I will become as liberal as you,/ I’ll not
deny him anything I have,/ No, not my body nor my husband’s bed.”
7. Antonio promises Portia that “[his] soul upon the forfeit…
[Bassanio]/ Will never more break faith advisedly.”
8. Portia offers the same ring she initially gave Bassanio, claiming she recovered it
by sleeping with the doctor.
9. Portia reveals that she and Nerissa were in fact the doctor and his clerk.
10. Portia gives Antonio a letter in which it is revealed that “three of [his] argosies
[i.e., ships]/ Are richly come to harbor suddenly.”
“The Merchant of Venice”- Discussion Questions ACT I-V
ACT I:
1. What causes do Salerio and Salanio suggest for Antonio’s melancholy?
-They suggest that he is sad because he is in love and that his ships might be indanger.
2. What humorous advice does Gratiano offer Antonio?
-He told Antonio to talk because he would forget his own voice.
3. Why does Bassanio want Antonio to loan him more money?
-Bassanio wants Antonio to loan him money because he wants to go on a journey to Belmont to marry
Portia.
4. Why is Portia angry with her deceased father?
-Portia is angry with her father because he left a system so the man who choses the right casket gets to
marry her. Portia disagrees with this because she can’t chose who she wishes to marry.
5. Why does Nerissa tell Portia she “need not fear” her unwelcome suitors?
-Nerissa tells Portia this because if she ignores or doesn’t acknowledge the unwelcome suitors they will
leave her alone.
6. What do Portia and Nerissa think of Bassanio?
-Portia and Neriassa think that he is the most suitable person for Portia to marry out of all the others
that tried.
7.According to Shylock, why does he hate Antonio?
-Shylock hates Antonio because he spat on him in a previously and ridicules him and the jews.
8.Why is Shylock indignant over Antonio’s request?
-Shylock was indignant because he felt as if he shouldn’t give them what they want because they
treated him poorly.
9. What is Antonio’s response to Shylock’s accusation?
-Antonio’s response to Shylock’s accusation was shocking because he should do it as his job not from
personal grudges.
10. In exchange for what does Shylock agree to lend Antonio and Bassanio the money?
-Shylock agrees to lend him money, but he must give Shylock a pound of flesh in returnif the due isn’t
paid.
ACT II:
1. Why does Morocco fear Portia will reject him at the outset?
-Morocco thinks he will be rejected by Portia because of his skin color.
2. What is Bassanio’s reservation about Gratiano accompanying him to Belmont?
-Bassanio’s reservation was that Gratiano had to act more mature in this voyage.
3. What is Jessica’s dilemma concerning her father, Shylock?
-Jessica’s dilemma is that she can’t love a Christian and she is ashamed of him.
4. How does Lorenzo plan to disguise Jessica in order to escape from her father?
-Lorenzo plans to disguise Jessica as a boy to escape from her father’s house.
5. Before going to dine with Antonio and Bassanio, what advice does Shylock give his daughter?
-The advice that Shylock gave Jessica was to lock all the doors and not to leave the house.
6. Why does Jessica not want Lorenzo to see her when he arrives at Shylock’s house?
-Jessica didn’t want Lorenzo to she her because she was disguised as a boy and she was embarassed.
7. What is Morocco’s rationle for choosing the gold casket?
-Morocco choose the gold casket because he thought that she is worth nothing less and every suitor
wants her.
8. What news has Salerio heard, making him anxious?
-Salerio heard that some ships have sank on a voyage and he fears that they may be Antonio’s .
9. How does Solanio interpret Antonio’s sadness at Bassanio’s departure?
-Solanio says that Antonio is upset because Bassanio is leaving and that he’s losing his bestfriend.
10. Which casket does Aragon choose, and why?
-Aragon choose the silver casket because he thinks he deserves her more than any other suitor.
ACT III:
1. Why, since it won’t result in any financial gain, does Shylock insist on the terms of his bond with
Antonio?
-Antonio and Shylock made a deal and if Antonio doesn’t give his bond he must give a pound of flesh
and a deal is a deal.
2. What news does Tubal bring Shylock?
-Tubal told Shylock that Antonio’s ships sank and he wouldn’t be able to pay back the bond.
3. Why does Portia want Bassanio to wait before facing the challenge of the three caskets?
-Because Portia wants Bassanio to wait and be with her for a little while so that if he get’s it wrong
they still spent time together.
4. Why does Bassanio select the lead casket?
-Bassanio select the lead casket because he thought it was the right one and indeed it was.
5. What does the lead casket contain?
-The lead casket contain Portia picture and a scroll.
6. What doe Portia claim will occur if Bassanio gives up the ring she gave him?
-Portia claim that it will sow that Bassanio doesn’t love her as much as she thought.
7. What does Gratiano reveal after Bassanio solves the riddle of the three caskets?
-Gratiano revealed that Portia would now be Bassanio’s.
8.Why does Portia allow Bassanio to leave before they get married?
-Portia allow him to leave becasue she knows that Antonio is in trouble and that they are best friends.
9. According to Antonio, why won’t the Duke be able to intercede on his behalf?
-Because a bond is a bond and it was a written agreement and it was signed so Antonio must hold up
his end of the bargain.
10. What does Portia decide to do at the end of Act III?
-Portia decides to dress up like a man and go to the court for Antonio to help him so that Shylock
doesn’t recieve the pound of flesh.
ACT IV:
1. What does the Duke request of Shylock?
-The Duke requests that Shylock is to forgive him and come up with a different agreement.
2. What reason does Shylock give for his wanting the pound of Antonio’s flesh?
-That the Jews and Christians should have the same rights. Shylock also mentioned that Antonio
always spat on him.
3. Why does Antonio advise his friends to give up attempting to dissuade Shylock?
-Because Antonio knows that Shylock wont back down and that the deal was what it was.
4. Why does Shylock believe the Duke must enforce the terms of the bond?
-Because the bond was made and it should be followed up with no matter what.
5. Why does Portia, disguised as the lawyer, initially conclude that Shylock’s bond must beadhered to?
-Portis disguises herself so she can help Antonio, so that he doesn’t have to give one pound of flesh to
Shylock.
6. Although she acknowledges Shylock’s right to a pound of Antonio’s flesh, how does Portia prevent the
usurer from acting on it?
-She says that if any drip of christian blood is dripped he Shylock has the right to die.
7. Why is Shylock stripped of his possessions?
-Because he tried to murder or harm a christian.
8. Apart from the financial conditions, what does Antonio’s new arrangement demand of Shylock?
-He doubles his money and Antonio does not lose one pound of flesh, and half of the money goes to
Jessica.
9. What does the disguised Portia demand from Bassanio for her services?
-She demands the ring that she gave to him.
10. Why is Bassanio reluctant to give up the ring?
-Because it was the ring his wife gave him showing her love, and she made him promise that he
wouldn’t give it away or loose it no matter what.
ACT V:
1.What message does Stephano deliver to Lorenzo and Jessica?
-The message was that Portia and Nerissa have arrived.
2.What opinion does Lorenzo hold of men who don’t like music?
-Lorenzo thinks that they feel no emotion of love.
3.What does Portia order her household not to do?
-Portia orders that they take no being of the absence.
4.To whom does Nerissa claim to believe Gratiano gave his ring?
-Nerissa belives that Gratiano gave it to another woman.
5.What does Portia threaten when Bassanio admits he gave the ring away?
-She threatens him that she will not see or talk to him until the ring is returned.
6.What does Portia claim she will do if she encounters the doctor to whom Bassanio gave the ring?
-She says if she sees the doctor with her ring the doctor must lay with her.
7.How does Antonio attempt to placate Portia?
-By telling her he witnessed give the ring to the clerk.
8.What does Portia offer Bassanio to seal the new promise?
-Another ring.
9.What secret does Portia reveal to the company?
-That she was infact the doctor and Nerissa was the clerk.
10.What good news does Portia tell Antonio?
-That shylock’s gift is that after he dies all his possessions go to him.
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