The Merchant of Venice

What are the two reasons suggested for Antonio’s sadness? his boats are all out and he is worried because he doesn’t know where they arehe is in love
Why do Solanio and Salerio leave when Bassanio and company enter? Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano were more worthyit was a reason to leavethey would have stayed if they were better friendsBassanio is Antonio’s best friend
What is significant about the fact that Gratiano also mentions that Antonio looks sad or unwell? to reinforce that he is sad and convince him
Why is it difficult for Bassanio to ask Antonio for money? he already owes himembarrassed that he needs more
What is Bassanio’s plan for getting money to pay off his debts? What is Antonio’s response? Bassanio is going to marry Portia (wealthy heiress)Antonio is going to sign a loan for Bassanio
What does Antonio’s suggestion foreshadow? something bad will happen regarding the loan or Portia
Why is Scene II in prose? for humor-satire of nationalities
What is Nerissa’s notion of happiness? taking things in moderation
What is the pun Portia uses to explain the plight her father left her in? will has two meanings: legal document/desireshe means that her life (will: desire) is controlled by what her father said for her before death (will: legal document)
How, according to Portia’s father’s will, is her husband to be chosen? there will be 3 chests: gold, silver, leadeach suitor would choose a chest and the one who chooses Portia’s chest will marry herthe losers are never allowed to marry to ensure that they are serious about possibly marry Portia (not disposable)
What is the primary source of comedy in Scene II? political satire about what Portia said about her suitors
What is the relationship between each suitor’s nationality and the reasons for his unsuitability? What type of humor is Shakespeare using here? political satireShakespeare has Portia who is Italian poke fun of the suitors because of where they are fromItalians wouldn’t have a problem with their nationalities but England would (where Shakespeare is from)Shakespeare uses Portia to express his own hatred
Why are the suitors that have been discussed in this scene all decide to go home? Bassanio was more qualified than any of them
Who are the Sibylla and Diana to whom Portia refers? Sibylla-Apollo said she could live as long as the number of grains of rice in her hand but she would age and shrinkDiana-(Artemis) goddess of the hunt, childbirth, chastity, moon
What rhetorical device does Portia use in the line, “If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good a heart as I can bid the four farewell, I should be glad of his approach”? antithesis-contrast between two thingsrhetoric-to make a point, argument contrast between bidding welcome and bidding farewell
What does Portia’s comment about Bassanio, “I remember him well, and I remember him worthy of thy praise,” suggest? she remembers that he is worthy of hermore worthy than her suitors
What is ominous about Shylock’s repeating that Antonio is a good man and “sufficient”? he repeats it because he is thinking about it as he says ithe is possibly alluding to something beyond financial suitability, perhaps taking his flesh
What does Shylock suggest when he calculates Antonio’s suitability to repay any money Shylock might lend to Bassanio? he will be able to repay him because of his shipshe is overextended with the amount of ships he has outif his ships do not return, it would be a problem
What is the basis of Shylock’s turning down Bassanio’s dinner invitation? they would be eating porkShylock is Jewish so he does not eat porkexcuse so he doesn’t have to go because he hates them
What rhetoric device does Shylock use when he says, “I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you…but i will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you”? epistrophe-repetition of words at the end of sentences
What happens to the language in this scene when Antonio enters? Why does this occur? changes from prose to verseto emphasize Shylock’s hatred for Antonio
Why does Shylock hate Antonio? Antonio does not charge interest on his loans so he is competition in his businessAntonio had spit on him, kicked him, and called him a dog and he does not regret it/would do it againhe is Christian
What does Shylock mean when he says:”If I can catch him once upon the hip,I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him”? he can gain an advantage over Antonio he can eventually get revenge/win
How can we account for Antonio’s generosity concerning Bassanio, but his discourteous behavior toward Shylock? Antonio is friends with Bassanio but he hates ShylockAntonio is prejudice against Jews-irrational
Shylock rejects Antonio’s notion that he views Antonio as an enemy. Shylock says he will lend the money out of friendship, without charging any interest. What bond does Shylock propose that Antonio fulfill if the loan is not paid in ninety days? In what spirit does he claim he makes this proposal? Antonio says that he would give Shylock a pound of his own flesh if he does not repay the loan-humorhe is confident he will not have to give Shylock his flesh because his ships are returning in 2 months
Why does Bassanio balk at Shylock’s “offer”? Shylock will have no use for Antonio’s fleshit is dangerous
What does Scene III foreshadow? Antonio will die, Shylock will get away with it legally
What is the significance of Shylock’s reference to Jacob and Laban? Why does Shakespeare have Shylock tell this story? Jacob serves his uncle, Labanthey deceive and cheat each other Jacob got rich, Laban went bankruptto say that Jews deceived peoplewould resonate with the audience at the time