The Merchant Of Venice Workbook Answers Act II Scene 6

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Extract I


Gratiano:
And it is marvel he out-dwells his power for lovers ever run before the clock.

Salarino
O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly
To seal love's bonds new-made, than they are wont
To keep obliged faith unfortified!

Gratiano
That ever holds: who riseth from a feast
With that keen appetite that he sit down?
Where is the horse that doth untread again
His tedious measures with the unbated fire
That he did pace them first? All things that are, Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd.

1. Where does this scene take place? Who has out-dwelt his hour? Normally what do the lovers do as far as the appointed time is concerned?

Ans: This scene takes place in the street outside Shylock’s house. Lorenzo has out-dwelt his hour to meet Gratiano and Salarino for the masque. Lovers generally rush to the meeting place long before the appointed hour.

2. Who is Venus? How do Venus’s pigeons behave as far as love is concerned?

Ans: In Greek mythology, Venus is the goddess of love. Salarino comments that the doves that draw the chariot of Venus, the goddess of love, fly ten times faster when they are journeying to bind new love more firmly, than they do when love is already pledged and certain.

3. How does Gratiano explain in the extract the state of people in love?

Ans: According to Gratiano, people in love are anxious to meet each other. They rush to their meeting places much before the appointed time. Thus, people in love keep punctuality in their meetings and never delay

4. Give the meaning of:
a) He out dwells his hour
b) To seal love’s bonds new-made

Ans: a) He overstays the time fixed by him to meet.
b) to bind new love more firmly.

5. At the end what happens to the masque? Why?

Ans: At the end the masque is cancelled because Bassanio decides to leave for Belmont earlier than the scheduled time.

Extract II

Lorenzo:

Sweet friends, your patience for my long abode.
Not I, but my affairs, have made you wait:
When you shall please to play the thieves for wives,
I'll watch as long for you then Approach;
Here dwells my father Jew Ho! who's within?

1. Where is Lorenzo and who are his sweet friends?

Ans: Lorenzo is in the street outside Shylock’s house. His sweet friends are Salarino and Gratiano.

2. What did his friends say about the anxiety of those in love?

Ans: His friends said that lovers generally rush to meet each other before the appointed time. Salarino commented that the doves that draw the chariot of Goddess of love, fly ten times faster, when they are journeying to find new love than they do when love is once pledged and certain.

3. What were the affairs that kept the speaker away so long?

Ans: The speaker was kept away so long due to his business affairs. Also he had to plan for the masquerade, in which he would elope with his lady-love, Jessica.

4. What is meant by ‘to play the thieves for wives’? How apt are these remarks in the context?

Ans: ‘To play the thieves for wives’ means if ever any of them wishes to do what he is doing that night and steal away a fair lady to be his wife, he will wait as long as they have done to help him on the occasion. These remarks are quite relevant because Lorenzo wants to give the reason for his delay as well as thank his friends, whom he has kept waiting for a long time.

5. What does Lorenzo ask Jessica to do later in the scene? What is Jessica’s reaction to his request?

Ans: Later in the scene, Lorenzo tells Jessica to come down in the street quickly and that she has to play the part of his torch-bearer in the masque that night. Jessica is shocked and embarrassed at the suggestion. She asks Lorenzo whether she must hold a light to show up her shameful acts — her elopement, theft and male dress.

Extract III

Jessica:

Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains
I am glad 'tis night, you do not look on me,
For I am much ashamed of my exchange:
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselves commit;
For if they could, Cupid himself would blush
To see me thus transformed to a boy

Lorenzo
Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer

Jessica
What, must I hold a candle to my shames?
They in themselves, good sooth, are too too light
Why, 'tis an office of discovery, love;
And I should be obscured

1. What do you think is sent down in the casket? How can you conclude that the contents in the casket are valuable?

Ans: The casket must have valuables like jewellery which Jessica has stolen from her house. We can conclude that the contents in the casket are valuables since Jessica hands over the casket only after making sure that the person to whom she is giving the casket is her love, Lorenzo. Besides, she tells Lorenzo that it is worth carrying the casket.

2. What is meant by ‘I am much ashamed of my exchange.’? Why is the exchange needed?

Ans: The given words mean that Jessica is much ashamed that she has to wear the dress of a page-boy. This exchange was needed for her to elope with Lorenzo.

3. In what way is love blind in the context? Who is referred to as Cupid? Why would he blush?

Ans: Love is blind in the context since it makes Jessica dress like a page-boy, steal jewellery and money from her house and be ready to elope with Lorenzo, a Christian. Cupid is the classical god of love, who is always represented as a blind boy with bow and arrows. Jessica says that Cupid, the little blind god of love himself would be shocked and blush if he saw her dressed like a boy.

4. What is meant by a torch bearer? In what way Jessica would hold a candle to her shames, if she were aˀtorch bearer?

Ans: Masquerades were dramatic performances where players wore masks and costumes and took part in a torch like procession playing drums and fife. Jessica was to carry the torch light or candle. If she carries the candle, she will show up her shameful acts- her male attire, the casket containing her theft and the fact of her elopement.

5. How is Jessica’s feminine nature is highlighted in the extract?

Ans: Jessica’s feminine nature is highlighted in the extract. Her shyness at her male clothes shows her feminine modesty as in Elizabethan times women never wore men’s clothes. Also she comes down from her house after making sure that the person who has come to take her is Lorenzo, her lover.
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