Merchant of Venice ACT 3 Scene 3 Question Answers

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Extract I

1. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:

Shylock
Gaoler, look to him: tell not me of mercy; 
This is the fool that lent out money gratis:
Gaoler, look to him.

Antonio
Hear me yet, good Shylock.

Shylock
I'll have my bond; speak not against my bond: 
I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond. Thou call'dst me dog before thou hadst a cause; But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs:
The duke shall grant me justice..


1. What does Shylock ask the jailer to do? Give two reasons from the extract to justify why Shylock was against Antonio.

Ans:  Shylock asks the jailer to guard Antonio closely and see that he does not escape. He tells him not to ask him to show mercy to Antonio.
The extract shows that Shylock was against Antonio. He insists on having the bond saying that he has taken an oath to exact the full
penalty of the bond. Besides, he says that since Antonio called him a ‘dog’, Antonio should beware of his teeth, as they can bite

2. Give the meaning of:

(a) lent out money gratis:

(b) beware my fangs:

Ans:  (a) lent out money gratis: lending money without interest.
 (b) beware my fangs: beware of my teeth. That is beware of my  revenge

3. What does Shylock say after this extract, blaming the jailer for bringing Antonio out of prison?

Ans:  After this extract, Shylock angrily tells the jailer that he is surprised at his being so foolish as to yield to Antonio’s request and to bring him out in the open. He censures the jailer for bringing him out.
 

4.  How does this short scene show the determination of Shylock to extract the penalty as stipulated in the bond?

Ans: The short scene shows the determination of Shylock to extract the penalty as stipulated in the bond. His passion for revenge is revealed in this scene, when he savagely cries to the jailer to guard Antonio closely and see that he does not escape. He refers to the bond five times in the scene and refuses to listen to Antonio’s pleas. His
determination is sealed by his statement that he has sworn an oath that he will have his bond.

5. What justice does Shylock seek from the Duke? Describe briefly how this scene prepares the audience for the climax of the Trial scene.

Ans: Shylock wants the Duke to allow him to have his bond and do justice to him. The scene is important because it brings the action near to 
the Trial Scene. It adds suspense to the bond story as it shows that it is impossible for Antonio to escape Shylock’s revenge. This scene fills the interval before the Trial scene and allows time for Bassanio’s journey from Belmont to Venice.




Extract II

Antonio
Let him alone:
I'll follow him no more with bootless prayers. 
He seeks my life; his reason well I know:
I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures 
Many that have at times made moan to me; Therefore he hates me,

Salarino
I am sure the duke
Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.

Antonio
The duke cannot deny the course of law:
For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it be denied, 
Will much impeach the justice of the state; Since that the trade and profit of the city Consisteth of all nations.

1. What has enraged Antonio to speak in this manner? According to Antonio, why does Shylock seek his life?

Ans:  When Antonio’s continuous pleas to Shylock to listen to him fail and he insists on having his bond, Antonio get enraged. He says that Shylock wants to take away his life because he has frequently helped Shylock’s debtors out of his clutches when they approached him for help. This has made Shylock to hate him.
 

2. What does Salarino say about the Duke?

Ans: Salarino says that he is sure that the Duke will never permit the penalty of the bond to hold good in law.
 

3. Who are the strangers referred to in the extract? What commodity do they have in Venice?

Ans:  Strangers referred to in the extract are the traders and businessmen from other countries doing business in Venice. Here, specific reference is to Shylock, a Jew, a foreigner. They do trade and business in Venice
 

4. Can the Duke deny the course of law to the strangers?Why?

Ans:  The Duke cannot deny the course of law to the strangers. Firstly, the rights and privileges of trade that foreigners have in Venice cannot be denied. If denied they will expose the justice system of the state to reproach. Secondly, prosperity of Venice depends on its trade with foreign nations. If injustice is done to Shylock, other foreigners will raise alarm and objections. They will lose confidence in the justice system and it will affect the trade in the city.


5. What final wish does Antonio express before he would die? What does it  reveal about his character?

Ans:  Antonio’s final wish is to see Bassanio before he dies. This shows his great love and affection for Bassanio. Antonio resigns himself to his fate but takes comfort in the thought that he is going to die for the sake of his friend