Extract I1. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
1. Where does this scene take place? what is mean by the first line of the extract?Ans: This scene takes place in a room in Portia’s house at Belmont. The first line refers to Portia’s maidenly modesty according to which she
2. What reason does portia give at the end of her speech for speaking so long? what does this show about her feelings towards Bassanio?
3. Why can't portia teach Bassanio to choose the correct casket? If Bassanio were to make an incorrect choice what would Bassanio do?
4. Give the meaning of: "Beshrew your eyes, they have ov'rlook'd me and divided me;"
5. What light does the extract through on the character portia? What feelings does she have for Bassanio in the scene?
Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end,
Fading in music: that the comparison
May stand more proper, my eye shall be the stream
And watery death-bed for him. He may win;
And what is music then? then music is
Even as the flourish when true subjects bow
To a new-crowned monarch: such it is
As are those dulcet sounds in break of day
That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear,
And summon him to marriage.-
1. Explain the meaning of 'he makes a swan-like end.' What contemporary belief about swans is expressed in the extract?
2. Why does Portia order music to be played while Bassanio makes the choice of casket? To what does portia compare the music, should Bassanio choose correctly?Ans: Portia calls for music first of all to calm the excitement in her own heart and her tension when Bassanio is choosing the casket. She further defends her action saying that if Bassanio fails he will bid him his last farewell in the midst of music and thus will be like the swan that sings before it dies. If Bassanio succeeds, the music will add to the festive atmosphere of the occasion, making everyone happy.
3. How could Portia's eyes be a watery death-bed for Bassanio?
4. How would the music call the dreaming bridegroom to his marriage?
Ans: If Bassanio is successful in the choice of caskets then the music also represents the sweet notes of music that awakens the dreaming bridegroom on the morning of his marriage and tells him that his wedding day has come. It refers to an old English custom of playing music under the windows of the bridegroom on the morning of the wedding day.
5. In what way does Portia act as a romantic heroine in the scene? How is the theme of love versus wealth developed in this scene?Ans: In the given scene, Portia acts as a romantic heroine. Her maidenly modesty and bright wit is seen when she detains Bassanio a little longer while making his choice. She accomplishes the difficult task of revealing to Bassanio her affection for him. When Bassanio chooses correctly, she is happy and surrenders herself, her property and her servants to Bassanio. She also offers him a ring and makes him promise never to part with it.
1. Who is Alcides? What is the 'virgin tribute' ? How did Alcides save the virgin tribute?Ans: Alcides refers to young Hercules, son of Alcaeus. In Greek mythology, he is depicted as a strong and courageous youth. ‘Virgin Tribute’ refers to Hesione, the unmarried daughter of the Trojan King. Hesione was tied to a rock on the sea-shore of Troy, expecting every moment to be devoured by the sea-monster. Hercules saved the ‘Virgin Tribute’ by killing the sea-monster and setting her free. Here Portia compares her tension and suspense while Bassanio makes his choice of caskets to the anxiety of Hesione, waiting for the sea-monster’s attack. She sees Bassanio as having more love than Alcides
2. In what way is Bassanio compared to young Alcides? Why does Portia here 'stand for sacrifice' ?
3. Give the meaning of:
(a) howling Troy:.
(b) bleared visages:.
(c)The issue of the exploit:.?Ans: (a) howling Troy: the loud lamentations of the people of Troy at the sacrifice of Hesione.
4. What are The 'rest aloof' referred to in the extract? Who are the Dardanian wives? What were the wives doing in the scene when Alcides was saving the virgin tribute?Ans: ‘The rest aloof’ referred to in the extract are people in the room like Nerissa, Gratiano and others whom Portia compares to Trojan
5. Why does Portia say, 'Go, Hercules'? What will she be doing at the same time?Ans: Portia asks Bassanio, ‘Go Hercules’ because in her opinion the similarity between Bassanio and Hercules is complete and perfect.
1. Which theme in the play is highlighted in the above extract? How is it highlighted?Ans: In the given extract, the theme of appearance and reality is highlighted. Bassanio, commenting on the caskets says that a pretty exterior may often hide a rotten interior. The multitude is always led astray by decorations and adornments of various kinds. He is highlighting this theme by providing the examples of lawyers, religious heresies and cases of cowards, who assume outward signs of valour
2. How can vice assume the external show of virtue?Ans: Bassanio says that every wrong has some appearance of virtue. He explains it through the example of a lawyer. In a law-suit, possession of a pleasing voice and attractive presence in a lawyer, entirely hide any appearance of wrong in the cause he pleads. The ornament of the voice gives an unsound plea, the false appearance of a good reality. Similarly religious heresies can be glossed over if a preacher makes them appear as true and just.
3. What are 'stairs of sand' ? To what are these stairs compared?
4. Give the meaning of the following:
have livers white as milk;
5. Who is Hercules and who is frowning Mars? What are they, with their beards known for?
1. Explain how is beauty purchased by weight? How does it make the wearers lightest? (Give the two meanings of the word: lightest.)
2. What is referred to as 'crisped snaky golden locks? Who wears them and who is their actual owner?Ans: ‘Crisped snaky golden locks’ refer to false hair that women wear.
3. What is referred to as 'the dowry of a second head'? Who has bred this head? Where is the head now?Ans: The ‘dowry of a second head’ refers to the false hair (wig) worn by a woman, that appear to be real but actually is a gift from some dead woman, i.e., it originally belonged to a dead woman who is lying in the grave. Shakespeare refers to the popular custom of wearing wigs among the Elizabethan women.
4. Why does Bassanio say that ornament is but the guiled shore to a most dangerous sea?
Ans: Bassanio says that outward adornment is always deceptive. It is like the attractive but treacherous sea-shore that leads people into perilous waters.
5. Give any two examples from Bassanio's speech to show that appearances are deceptive.
Extract VI1. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
1. Where was the gentle scroll? Give the summary of what was written on the scoll?Ans: The gentle scroll was in the lead casket. On the scroll it was written that since he has not chosen by mere outward appearances, he may be fortunate and make his choice as wisely as he has done. Since this fortune has come to him, he should be satisfied and seek nothing more for his happiness. If he is pleased with his luck and feels that fate has brought him happiness, he should go to his beloved and claim her as his own with a loving kiss
2. What prize Had the speaker won? Give the reasons which led to the winning of the prize.
3. What was the speaker asked to give and to receive?
4. Give the meaning of:
(a) universal shout:
(b) Giddy in spirit:
5. To whom does the speaker compare himself? In what way does he compare himself? Why is the speaker doubtful whether what he sees is true?
Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
1. Which possessions of hers does Portia transfer to Bassanio after he chose the correct casket?
2. Mention three of the wishes of Portia which express her desire to excel in everything.Ans: Portia, for the sake of Bassanio wishes that she were sixty times better than herself, a thousand times more beautiful and ten thousand times wealthier. These wishes express her desire to excel in everything for the sake of Bassanio.
3. On what condition does she give the ring to Bassanio? How does giving the ring become a part of the main plot in the story?
4. Give the meaning of:
Let it presage the ruin of your love, And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
Ans: The given lines mean: ”Let that be a sign that your love for me is dead and it will give an opportunity for me to accuse you for that.”Here Portia asserts that if Bassanio loses the ring she has given him,it will show the loss of his love for her and will give her the right to reproach him.
5. After Portia's speech, what does Bassanio say in his excitement? What assurance does he give to her about the ring?Ans: After Portia’s speech, Bassanio is overpowered with emotion and he tells Portia that her love and goodness has made him speechless. Regarding the ring, Bassanio promises Portia that when the ring leaves his finger, his spirit will flee and his life will leave him. He will part with the ring only at his death.
1. Give the context in which Gratiano speaks these words, What good wishes does he give to Bassanio?Ans: After Bassanio’s successful selection of the right casket and after the speeches of Portia and Bassanio Nerissa greets them and wishes them great joy. Thereafter Gratiano speaks these words. Gratiano wishes Portia and Bassanio that all the joy and happiness they desire may be showered upon them
2. What request does Gratiano make to Bassanio?
3. What condition does Bassanio put regarding Gratiano's request?Ans: Bassanio gives his consent most heartily, provided Gratiano can get a wife.
4. Explain how Gratiano's fortune too 'stood upon the caskets?Ans: While Bassanio wooed Lady Portia, Gratiano wooed her lady-in-waiting, Nerissa. However, the promise that Gratiano received from Nerissa was that Nerissa would love Gratiano provided that Bassanio had the good fortune of winning the love of Portia by selecting the right casket. Thus, Gratiano’s fortune too stood on the caskets.
5. How has Gratiano-Nerissa episode added humour to the story in this scene? Besides Gratiano-Nerissa proposal, there is another ordinary couple is in love. Name the couple and state how they will be united.Ans: Gratiano-Nerissa episode has added humour to the story. The romance and marriage of Nerissa and Gratiano strengthen the old belief that characters in association with nobility are themselves ennobled. Gratiano experienced the joy of love in the company of Bassanio. Nerrisa being educated by her mistress Portia, was able to win a gentleman’s love. Gratiano, with a keen sense of humour arouses much mirth and laughter in the scene.
1. Where does the scene take place? Who brings the letter from Antonio to Bassanio?Ans: The scene takes place in a room in Portia’s house at Belmont. Salerio brings the letter from Antonio to Bassanio.
2. How does Portia conclude that there is some bad news in the letter? What could be the bad news according to Portia?Ans: Portia concludes that there is some bad news in the letter because as soon as Bassanio reads the letter, his face turns pale and he becomes greatly agitated. According to Portia, the bad news in the letter must be about the loss of someone loved by Bassanio.
3. What right does Portia now have to know from Bassanio the contents of the letter?
4. Briefly state what Bassanio told Portia about the bond and the destruction of Antonio's cargo ships.
5. What did Salerio say about Shylock's insistence on the forfeiture of Antonio's bond? What happens to the bond at the end of the play?
Extract X1. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
That he would rather have Antonio's flesh
That he did owe him: and I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and power deny not,
It will go hard with poor Antonio.
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