The Merchant Of Venice Act -1, Scene - 3 workbook answers

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Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow: 

Extract 1.

For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.

Antonio shall become bound,- well.

May you stead me? will you please me?
Shall I know your answer?

Three thousand ducats, for three months, and Antonio bound.

Your answer to that,

Antonio is a good man.

Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?

(i)  Give the condition to which Antonio is bound. How wise was Antonio to bind himself to such conditions?

Ans:  Antonio signs a bond with shylock, according to which if he fails to repay the amount in time Shylock would be entitled to take a pound of flesh from any part of Antonio's body. 
No, Antonio was unwise to bind himself to such conditions as he knew that shylock was looking for an opportunity to take revenge. In overconfidence, he behaved carelessly in signing this bond.

(ii) Give the meaning of:
 May you stead me? Will you pleasure me?

Ans: Can you help me and will you do me this favor?

(iii) Shylock says that Antonio is a good man. What does Shylock mean by the connotation 'good'?

Ans: When Shylock says that Antonio is a good man. 'Good', he means that Antonio is a reliable man, he is financially adequate as surety for 3000 ducats.

(iv) Enumerate the possible threats to Antonio's business ventures as stated by Shylock, after the above extract.

Ans:  Shylock enumerate the possible threats to Antonio's business ventures. He states that ships are just fragile boards, and sailors are just men. There are water rats and land thieves and pirates, there is all danger of ocean, there is a peril of waters, winds, and rocks. Anything could happen.

(v) How can it be said that Antonio is a prudent businessman? How can you say that he is overconfident?

Ans: Antonio is a prudent businessman as his wealth is distributed over the whole world. one of Antonio’s ships is on its journey to Tripolis, another is bound for the Indies, a third is voyaging to Mexico, fourth to England, and others to various other distant places. His business doesn't depend on single ship or single business transaction.
Antonio knows the possible dangers in his cargo business and also knowing that Shylock is his revengeful enemy, he agrees to an unreasonable and dangerous bond. This shows that he is overconfident.


Extract No. 2


(aside) How like a fawning publican he looks!
I hate him for he is a Christian;
But more for that in low simplicity
He lends out money gratis and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
If I can catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
He hates our sacred nation, and he rails,
Even there where merchants most do congregate,... 

(i) What is meant by ‘a fawning publican’? Give three reasons why Shylock hates Antonio.

Ans:  'Fawning' means servile or pleasing somebody by praising them and Publicans were tax collectors for the Romans and were generally oppressive. They were hated by the Jews because they were the agents of Rome, who collected taxes also from the Jews. Publican is a natural term of contempt and loathing in the mouth of a Jew.
'Fawning publican' is Shylock's view of man(Antonio), who used to spit on him but now needs his help.
Three reasons why Shylock hates Antonio are:-
=> He is a Christian.
=> He lends money without interest.
=> He insulted and humiliated him many times.

(ii) Write the meaning of the following in your own words:
If I can catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.

Ans:  The above words mean that Shylock will satisfy all his long-standing hatred or grudge he has against him if he was able to get hold of Antonio at a disadvantage or in a weak spot.

(iii) What old grudge does Shylock have against Antonio? 
Ans: Shylock bears grudge against Antonio because Antonio is a Christian and lookup the whole Jewish race with contempt. He spat on him, kicked him, called him a dog, and had insulted him with abuses. His greatest grudge was that he lends money without interest and thus, brings down the rate of Interest.
(iv) What does the 'sacred nation' refer to? What insults has Antonio heaped upon Shylock?

Ans:The Sacred Nation’ is a reference to the holy Jewish race. Antonio had cursed and insulted him for his business deals and for earning profit by lending money on interest.

(v) How does Shylock plan to get the money immediately? What light does this extract throw on Shylock's character?

Ans: Shylock cannot instantly raise up the whole sum of three thousand ducats, so he decided to get money immediately from a wealthy fellow Jew, Tubal so that he execute the bond as soon as possible. This shows his hatred for Antonio and his eagerness to take revenge.


Extract No.3

When Jacob grazed his uncle Laban’s sheep—
This Jacob from our holy Abram was,
(As his wise mother wrought in his behalf)
The third possessor: ay, he was the third,-

And what of him? Did he take interest?

No, not take an interest—not as you would say,
Directly interest. Mark what Jacob did.
When Laban and himself were compromised
That all the eanlings which were streaked and pied
Should fall as Jacob’s hire.

(i) What topic is referred to in the extract? Who were Jacob and Abraham?

Ans:  The topic referred to in the extract is lending money for interest so as to make a profit. Jacob was the second son of Issac who became the third successor to Abraham. Abraham was the founder of the Hebrew nation and Jacob’s grandfather.

(ii) Give the story of Jacob who got his share as his payment from Laban.

Ans: when Jacob grazed his uncle Laban's sheep they agreed that all the spotted newborn lambs would be Jacob’s pay. During the breeding season, Jacob arranged the wooden rods in such a way that the shadows of the rods should fall on the sheep. Consequently, most of the lambs were born spotted or striped, and thus, they became Jacob’s property.

(iii) What is the difference between taking interest and receiving payment for one's labor?

Ans: Taking interest means to charge specific amounts on the money given as a loan for a specified period. Receiving payment for one’s labor means to take remuneration for one’s service rendered. This is legitimate while taking interest is not in order. Interest can be earned without working, while 'receiving payment for one's labor' clearly means you worked to earn money.

(iv) How does Antonio interpret Jacob's success after this extract?

Ans:  After this extract, Antonio tells Shylock That the business venture he is referring, happened because God made it happen like that. Jacob didn’t have any control over what happened. He questions Shylock that Is he trying to say that, the story proves that charging interest makes sense? That his interest payments are like Jacob’s sheep?

(v) What is meant by "the third possessor?" What role did Jacob's wise mother play to make him the third possessor?

Ans: The phrase 'the third possessor' means the third in succession to Abraham's property. Jacob was third in the line of heirs to family estates. The first one being Abraham and the second, Isaac.
Jacob should not have been the heir, since he was younger than his brother Esau. Issac wanted to bless his elder son Esau but would do so after he brought him some savory meant. Jacob’s mother Rebecca overheard this conversation. She wanted to get this blessing for Jacob. She told Jacob to fetch two goats to make a savory dish. Rebecca then asked Jacob to go to his blind father with the savory meat. In this way, Jacob, through the crafty assistance of his mother, got the blessing of his father.


Extract No. 4


Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you?


Signor Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my money and my usances:
Still, have I borne it with a patient shrug,
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe;
You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
1And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And for all use of that which is mine own.

(i) What is meant by 'shall we be beholding to you? What is Rialto?

Ans:  'Shall we be beholding to you’ means are you going to loan us the money? Antonio asks Shylock, are he going to give the loan of that sum of three thousand ducats.
Rialto was the Venetian Stock Exchange where the merchants met for the transaction of business.

(ii) Give some examples to show that Shylock was ill-treated by Antonio. How did Shylock react to Antonio's insults?

Ans:   Shylock says that Antonio many times and often abused him on his monies and his interest rates in the marketplace. He calls him a misbeliever, a cut-throat dog, and spat on his Jewish clothes, Once he spits on his beard, and kicks him as he spurns a strange dog on his doorstep.
Shylock bears all insults patiently because according to him suffering is the badge of all his tribe.

(iii) Why did Shylock bear Antonio's insults patiently?

  Shylock bears Antonio's insults patiently because according to him suffering is the characteristic of his race. As a shrewd Jew, he was waiting for an opportunity to take revenge on Antonio.

(iv) Give the causes, financial and racial, for Shylock's hatred for Antonio.

Ans: Antonio had insulted him numerous times at his workplace, which affects his money lending businesses. Also, Antonio lends money without charging interest and thus brings down the rate of interest charged by money lenders which affects Shylock financially.
Besides, he hates Antonio since he is a Christian, who despises the Jewish race.
So, above is the financial and racial cause, for which Shylock hates Antonio.

(v) Antonio is a rich merchant. What is the need for Antonio to borrow money from his enemy? Why is Shylock prepared to lend money to Antonio?

Ans: Besides being a rich merchant, Antonio has no money with him because he had invested all his money in his cargo business and, therefore in order to help Bassanio he needed to borrow money from his enemy so that Bassanio can go to Belmont and woo Portia.


Extract No. 5


Why, look you how you storm!
I would be friends with you and have your love,
Forget the shames that you have stained me with,
Supply your present wants and take no doit
Of usance for my money—and you’ll not hear me:
This is kind I offer.

(i) What were the ‘shames’ which stained Shylock?

Ans:   By ‘shames’, Shylock is referring to the insults hurled at him by Antonio. Antonio has spat on him, kicked him, called him a ‘cut-throat dog’, ridiculed the Jews race.
He also despises him for charging interest and called him a merciless moneylender.

(ii) What is meant by ‘the present wants’? On what terms is the speaker willing to supply the wants?

Ans: The present wants’ refer to the immediate need of Antonio-three thousand ducats to provide for Bassanio’s trip to Belmont. Shylock wants to be friends with Antonio, and forget all the times he had embarrassed and humiliated him. Shylock is ready to give what they need, and not going to charge any interest but Antonio has to signs a bond, according to which if Antonio fails to pay money on time, then Shylock would be entitled to take an exact pound of flesh from any part of Antonio’s body.

(iii) How does Antonio storm, Shylock? Why was Shylock willing to lead money without interest?

Ans:  Antonio storms Shylock by saying that in the future too he is likely to abuse him, spit on him, spurn him too. Antonio further says he should lend the money to as an enemy rather than a friend. He should charge him the exact penalty if he fails to repay on time.
Shylock is a shrewd, cunning, and crafty. he knows the dangers to Antonio's business. He planned to lend the money without interest to trap Antonio in a fatal bond and take his revenge.

(iv) What is meant by Shylock when he says, "This is kind I offer?" What did the speaker propose to do immediately after this?'.

Ans:  ‘This is kind I offer you’ means this is the kindness that I offer you. This refers to his lending of money without charging any interest on it.
   Immediately after this, the speaker proposes that certain legal formalities may be completed before he would give the loan. He urges Antonio and Bassanio to come to the notary and sign a bond. According to which if he fails to pay money on the exact date, exact place, and exact sum as mentioned in the contract, then Shylock would be entitled to take an exact pound of flesh from any part of Antonio's body that he may wish

(v) Who is the third person, present at the scene? Why is he reluctant to agree to Shylock's terms?

Ans: The third person present at the scene is Bassanio.
Normally, Shylock charges interest, but this time he is showing kindness and offering interest-free loans. His mind is not accepting Shylock's kind words, he did not trust him that why he is reluctant to agree to Shylock's terms. Bassanio, despite his deep desire to woo Portia with the money, is not willing to risk Antonio's safety to Shylock. He tells Antonio that he will not have him make such an agreement on his account. He would rather remain as poor.

Extract No. 6


Go with me to a notary, seal me there
Your single bond; and, in a merry sport,
If you repay me not on such a day,
In such a place, such sum or sums as are
Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
In what part of your body pleaseth me.

(i) Who is a notary? Whom does Shylock want to take to the notary? Why?

notary is a solicitor or a legal officer authorized to perform certain legal formalities. Shylock wants to take Antonio to the notary to sign the bond document which stipulates that the forfeit to be paid will be a pound of flesh from any part of Antonio’s body.

(ii)  Give the meaning of:
(a) Single bond
(b) Merry sport

Ans:    (a) single bond means a bond undertaken by one person, i.e., it was signed by Antonio alone 

(b) Merry sport means  "for a pleasant joke"

(iii) What did Bassanio say to prevent Antonio from signing the bond?

Bassanio, despite his deep desire to woo Portia, is not willing to risk Antonio's safety to Shylock. Bassanio says he should not make such agreement on his account.  He says that his mind is not accepting the kind words of shylock. He says that no need to take such a risk for me I would rather remain in my present state of need.

(iv) Why is Antonio confident that there is no danger in signing the bond? What aspect of Antonio's character is shown in this incident?

Ans:  Antonio is confident that there is no danger in signing the bond because he is confident that his ship will come home in two months i.e, one month before his loan is due. He expects to earn more than three times that loan sum. So he asks Bassanio not to worry as he won't have to pay the penalty.
This shows Antonio's generosity towards Bassanio and his overconfidence toward his business.

(v) Why does Shylock insist on a pound of Antonio's flesh in the bond? Which aspect of his character is shown in his absurd demand?

Ans: Shylock insists on a pound of Antonio's flesh as he hates Antonio and doesn't want to lose the opportunity to take revenge. he wants to put Antonio completely at his mercy.
Shylock's absurd demand shows that he is a cunning, cruel, and merciless character.

1 comment

  1. i need act 2 pls help me

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