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Merchant of Venice Act III- Questions / Answers

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From Silvester – Year 11 – Well Done


1. Describe what happened at Rialto in Venice.

1. In the Rialto we discover that one of Antonio’s ships has gone missing. Fact’s state that it may be wrecked somewhere in the Narrow Sea on the Goodwin Sans. Then Solanio and Salarino taunt Shylock about Jessica’s elopement. He then suspect’s that they were part of this work. Shylock then speaks of the deal which he has with Antonio and the bond between them. He also says that he would learn from the Christian example and seek revenge on Antonio and all the people that have tried to do him harm. For example he stats,” If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge!” Shylock is very mad over the money and jewels his daughter Jessica has stolen from him and wishes her dead. The scene closes when Tubal(Serving Man) reports the loss of another of Antonio’s ships. At that moment Shylock hires an officer to arrest Antonio.

2. Act III Sc: 1 Lines 42-57. Describe in your own words why this passage by Shylock is so important.

2. This passage by Shylock is one of the most important parts of the play. It shows us how eager Shylock is to get rid of Antonio and get his revenge. Antonio has disgraced the Jew and has made fun of him all the time only for being a Jew. Shylock tries to explain that Jew’s are same like all other people and should be treated the same. We can tell how angry he is and would stop at nothing but seek revenge for the humiliation he has suffered. Not even money would stop him from the will of killing Antonio. By killing Antonio he would teach all the Christians to start respecting the Jew’s for they know how to revenge as well. Shylock stats how eager he is to kill Antonio in this quote,” The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

3. Act III Sc: 1- What news does Shylock receive about Antonio’s ship and why is this so important?

3. Shylock is told by his serving man that Antonio has lost all his ships. This encourages Shylock to hire and officer and go arrest Antonio before the due date of the bid for Antonio is now unable to pay the money.

4. Act III Sc: 2 Describe how you think Bassanio felt as he made his choice of casket? Describe what happened after he made his choice.

4. As Bassanio made his choice of casket he must have felt really convinced that he was up for the challenge for he was very eager to choose. He considered false appearance in law, religion, war and beauty. In each case vice can be concealed beneath a mask of goodness. So he decides to chose the lead casket because he believes the appearance of the golden and silver casket may be misleading.

After he makes his choice Bassanio reads the scroll inside the casket which confirms that he has won Portia. Portia is very delighted and approves the casket’s truth. Then Bassanio wears a ring saying its loss will mark the end of his love and swears to wear it until his dying day. We also find out that Gratiano is in love with Nerissa and asks for permission to marry her. At the end when Lorenzo, Jessica and Salerio arrive we receive some bad news. They give Bassanio a letter from Antonio saying that all his ships are lost at sea. Bassanio now must go and help his dear friend Antonio.

5. Read and summarize Act 3, Scene 5 in your own words

5. Act 3 Scene 5 begins with Lancelot telling Jessica how much she fears that she will be damned because she is the daughter of the Jew. She defends herself by saying that Lorenzo has converted her to a Christian. When Lorenzo comes he accuses Lancelot of making a black girl pregnant. But Lancelot does not take this seriously. Next, Lancelot is sent off to arrange dinner while Jessica tells he husband how much she admires Portia.


Written by drrodsenglish

March 12, 2008 at 15:34

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