Merchant of Venice ACT 2 Scene 5 Question Answers

merchant of Venice act 2 scene 5 questions answers, workbook solutions, merchant of Venice workbook answers by Xavier pinto, merchant of Venice

merchant of Venice act 2 scene 5 questions answers, workbook solutions, merchant of Venice workbook answers by Xavier pinto, merchant of Venice workbook answers pdf

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

Act 2 Scene 5

Extract 1


I am bid forth to supper, Jessica:
There are my keys.– But wherefore should I go?
I am not bid for love; they flatter me;
But yet I’ll go in hate, to feed upon
The prodigal Christian.– Jessica, my girl, 
Look to my house.– I am right loath to go: 
There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest,
For I did dream of money-bags tonight.

(i) Why does Shylock accept the invitation to dinner? On what grounds did Shylock refuse to accept an invitation to dinner earlier in the play?

Ans:- Shylock accepts the invitation to dinner out of hatred and to eat the food of the extravagant Christian, Bassanio. In Act 1, Scene 3 when Bassanio invites him for dinner he refuses to dine with Christians since they were pork-eaters. He asserted then that he would never eat, drink or pray with Christians although he is ready to do business with them.

(ii) Why is Shylock unhappy to accept the invitation this time too? Who is the Prodigal Christian? Give the significance of the word: prodigal.

Ans:- Shylock is unhappy to accept the invitation this time too as he feels a premonition of some misfortune about to take place. The previous night he had a dream about money bags which was considered a bad omen.
                   Bassanio is referred to as the prodigal Christian because he is wasteful, who spends extravagantly what he had borrowed from Shylock. Prodigal is a reference to the Prodigal son described in the bible who wasted his share of wealth by Lavish and careless living.

(iii) Give the meaning of:
(a) I am not bid for love:..............................................................................
(b) I am right loath to go:.............................................................................

Ans:- (a) Shylock says that he had been invited not because they loved him or were friendly to him.
(b) Shylock says that he hated to accept their invitation for dinner.

(iv) How do Jessica and Lorenzo take advantage of Shylock’s absence from home during dinner?

Ans:- Jessica steals all of his wealth and elopes with Lorenzo when Shylock goes for dinner. This gives them ample time to carry on their plan.

(v) What sort of a bad omen did Shylock have which made him think that there is some evil being plotted against him?

Ans:- Shylock dreamt of ‘money-bags’ which represented some kind of threat to his wealth. This makes him suspect that some unspecified sources were plotting against him.

Extract 2

Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum
And the vile squealing of the wry-neck’d fife,
Clamber not you up to the casements then,
Nor thrust your head into the public street,
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish’d faces;
But stop my house’s ears, I mean my casements:
Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter
My sober house.– By Jacob’s staff, I swear
 I have no mind of feasting forth to-night;

(i) Who is the speaker of the above lines? To whom is he giving his advice? Why should the doors be locked?

Ans:- Shylock speaks these lines. He is warning Jessica to lock the door and remain inside. He was worried that the costumed and masked Christians taking out a procession and making merriment may rob his house.

(ii) Where is the speaker going? What reason does he give for his going out? Who was Jacob? Why does the speaker swear by Jacob’s staff?

Ans:- The speaker is going to Bassanio's dinner party. He is going out for dinner out of hatred for the Christians and to eat the food of the extravagant, Bassanio. Jacob was the grandson of Abraham, the founder of the Jewish race. According to Bible, Jacob, the ancestor of Shylock had a staff that proved a blessing to him. In Genesis 32:12, Jacob boasts that he had crossed river Jordan only with a staff yet returned with companies of men.

(iii) Give the meaning of:
(a) Clamber not you up to the casements.
(b) sound of shallow foppery.

Ans:- (a) Shylock warns Jessica firmly not to climb up to the windows and thrust her head out to watch the antics of the Christians.
(b) It means the loud noise, music, costumes varnished faces which were involved in the festival of revelry and drunken behavior in the masques.

(iv) Who are the ‘Christian fools with varnished faces’? What were they planning against the speaker? What warning did the speaker have of it earlier?

Ans:- Masque was a part of the culture in Venice, where the Christians dressed up in disguises and masks had fun and merriment. They indulged in revelry and celebrated with a lot of noise. Lorenzo was going to use this opportunity of the masque to steal away Shylock’s daughter, Jessica with Shylock’s money and jewelry. The speaker earlier had a warning in the form of a dream in which he saw money bags and coins.

(vi) Summarise the advice of the speaker in your own words. Does the person to whom the advice is given, follow the speaker’s advice? Why? 

Ans:- The speaker Shylock firmly tells Jessica to shut the doors for the security of the house. He tells her not to go upto the window when she hears the drum and the shrill notes of the fife. He tells her not to stretch her neck out to gaze over the public street to look at Christian fools with painted faces. He instructs her to close all the windows of his house so that no sound of the foolish display enters his sober house.
                   Jessica did not pay heed to his advice. Rather she used this opportunity to elope with Lorenzo and escape from the clutches of her insensitive father.

Extract 3


The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder,
Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
More than the wild-cat; drones hive not with me;
Therefore I part with him; and part with him
To one that I would have him help to waste 
His borrow’d purse. — Well, Jessica, go in: 
Perhaps I will return immediately:
Do as I bid you; shut doors after you: Fast bind, fast find;
A proverb never stale in thrifty mind. [Exit]

(i) What is meant by 'patch' in the extract? what reason does Shylock give to Jessica for parting with Launcelot?

Ans:- In the passage, the word 'patch' refers to a clown, idiot, or jester. Professional fools or jesters used multicolored patchwork clothes in the old days. So here, the word patch is used in the extract for Launcelot. 
According to Shylock, Launcelot is a prodigious eater who works as slowly as a snail. He naps like a cat all day.
 Bees that don’t work can’t stay in his hive, so he is parting with him, So he would assist Bassanio in spending his money because of his spendthrift habit,  by this way he will waste the borrowed money of Bassanio.

The other reason is also Shylocks bears no love for Christians.

(ii) Whom does Shylock wish to be ruined? why? 

Ans:- Shylock wishes Bassanio to be ruined because he wants to exact revenge upon Antonio. He will be able to do so if Bassanio and Antonio fail to repay the loan on time.

(iii)What does Shylock mean by saying, 'drones hive not with me'?

Ans:- A drone is a male bee that does not contribute in collecting nectar. It lives on food stored by other bees. By the above words, Shylock means that lazy people cannot live with him. Shylock says that Launcelot is too slow and eats too much to be his servant, so he lets him join Bassanio's service

 (iv)What is meant by the 'borrowed purse'? For what purpose was it borrowed?

Ans:-  Borrowed purse’ refers to the three thousand ducats that Bassanio borrowed from Shylock on the basis of a bond signed by Antonio. . The money was borrowed so that Bassanio can go to Belmont and marry Portia after winning the casket lottery.

 (v)  (a) Why does Shylock ask Jessica to shut doors?  Give the meaning of: 'Fast bind, fast find'.
        (b) Describe briefly how Shylock becomes an instrument of fate in this scene.

Ans:-(a) Shylock asks Jessica to shut the doors to make his house safe. A masque was organized and he did not want the sounds of drums and wry-neck'd fife to enter his house. He even asks Jessica not to clamber up to the casements and thrust her head into the public street to watch the Christian fools with a varnished faces.

 He quotes an old proverb ‘fast bind, fast find,’ which means that if you lock a thing up, you will find it safe. (leave secure and you will find all secure) 

(b) In this scene, Shylock becomes an instrument of fate to further the action in the plot. On the one hand, his desire for revenge upon Antonio is revealed because he goes to the supper to help to consume Bassanio’s borrowed money. He overlooks his religious principles which forbade him from dining with Christians. He even ignores the premonitions of impending evil because of his revengeful nature. This provided Jessica an occasion to flee from home with money and jewelry and to elope with Lorenzo, a Christian. Thus, fate has used Shylock to further its plans.

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