The Merchant Of Venice Act -2, Scene -3 Workbook Answers


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

Extract  No. 1


I am sorry thou wilt leave my father so: 
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil, 
Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness. 
But fare thee well; there is a ducat for thee.
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see
 Lorenzo, who is thy new master’s guest: 
Give him this letter; do it secretly;
and so farewell; I would not have my father 
See me in talk with thee.

(i) Give reasons for Launcelot’s leaving Jessica’s house.

Ans:- Launcelot was leaving Jessica’s house as his master was not only a miser but also of a tyrannical nature. Launcelot felt he was half-starved by his master who was a devil in human shape.

 (ii) Give the meaning of:
 Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,
 Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.

Ans:- Jessica means that her house was as miserable as hell and that it was enlivened by the merry presence of Launcelot who cheered her with his presence.

(iii) How does Jessica show in words and action that she liked Launcelot’s presence in her house?

Ans. Jessica sympathizes with Launcelot and expresses her gratefulness to him for temporarily robbing her wretched house of its boredom. She also gives a dollar to him as an appreciation for his cheerful presence. She also shows her faith in him by giving him a letter to be secretly delivered to Lorenzo.

(iv) What errand does Jessica give to Launcelot? What precautions does she ask him to take while doing the errand?

Ans:- Jessica gives to Launcelot the errand of delivering a letter to Lorenzo at supper in Bassanio’s House that night. She advises him to deliver the letter to Lorenzo secretly.

(v) How does Jessica show herself as a scheming but prudent young lady? In what way is her character different from that of Portia?

Ans:- Jessica shows herself as a scheming lady when she plans to elope with a Christian boy, Lorenzo without the knowledge of her father. She proves herself to be prudent when she instructs Launcelot to deliver the letter to Lorenzo at Bassanio’s party secretly. Her character is entirely different from that of Portia. While Portia obeys her deceased father’s will to marry the one who wins the lottery of caskets, Jessica betrays her father and religion to marry a Christian many Lorenzo.

Extract  No. 2


But adieu, these foolish drops do something drown my 
manly spirit; adieu.

Farewell, good Lancelot.            [Exit Launcelot 
Alack, what heinous sin is it in me
To be ashamed to be my father’s child! 
But though I am a daughter to his blood, 
I am not to his manners. O Lorenzo,
If thou keep promise,
 I shall end this strife, 
Become a Christian, and thy loving wife!

(i) How does Launcelot bid farewell to Jessica? In this context, what are your feelings for Launcelot, Jessica, and Shylock?

Ans:- Launcelot bids farewell to Jessica calling her ‘most beautiful pagan’ and later ‘most sweet Jew’. Launcelot gets very emotional when he bids farewell to Jessica. He feels sad and with tears in his eyes he bids her goodbye. We feel relieved as Launcelot was ultimately leaving his callous master and would be happier serving Bassanio. For Jessica who detests her father for his oppression, we feel sad as Launcelot was one person who cheered her up in this miserable hell. We feel sorry for Shylock who has alienated himself from his near and dear ones because of his rigidity and passion for money.

(ii) Why does Jessica regret being the daughter of Shylock? What is the ‘henious sin’ referred to in the extract? Is it really a ‘sin’? Give reasons to justify your answer.

Ans:- Jessica regrets being the daughter of Shylock because of his insensitive, hostile and miserly attitude. Jessica feels guilty that she was ashamed of being her father’s daughter and that she was ready to reject her cultural background and religion and marry a Christian. It was not a ‘sin’ because her father was a miserly tyrant who failed to give love and affection to his daughter.

(iii) Give the meaning of:
   But though I am a daughter to his blood,
   I am not to his manners.

Ans:- Jessica is ashamed to admit that she was the daughter of an oppressive, callous father, Shylock but she feels that she didn’t have the negative qualities of her father.

(iv) Explain Jessica’s relationship with her father which is shown in the scene.

Ans:- Jessica is alienated from her father and detests him for making her house a ‘hell’ with his fanatic, insensitive and oppressive attitude. She is rebellious and wants to be free from her father’s autocratic rule. Though she is torn by a conflict between her obligation to her father and her loyalty to her lover, yet she prefers to revolt and marries Lorenzo, who is a Christian. 

(v) Which promise has Lorenzo to keep? Describe the strife that Jessica is going to end.

Ans:- Lorenzo had promised to help her in eloping with him. If he was successful in doing so, she would no longer face the conflict of being divided between loyalty to her father and love for Lorenzo as she would marry him to become a Christian.