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Merchant of Venice ACT 4 Scene 1 Question Answers

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merchant of Venice act 4 scene 1 questions answers, workbook solutions, merchant of Venice workbook answers by Xavier pinto, merchant of Venice workbook answers act 4 scene 1 pdf

Extract I

1. Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow:
Antonio
I have heard
Your Grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate, 
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury, and am arm'd 
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit. 
The very tyranny and rage of his.

1. Where does this scene take place? What has the Duke said before this extract about the hard-hearted adversary?

Ans:  This scene takes place in a court of justice in Venice. Before this extract, the Duke has described the hard-hearted adversary as an inhuman wretch without pity, totally lacking in mercy.

2. What rigorous course is referred to in the extract? Why does Antonio saythat no lawful means can carry him out of his enemy's reach?

Ans:  The rigorous course referred to in the extract is the demand for the pound of flesh from Antonio’s body by Shylock, as the penalty for the forfeiture of the bond. Since Shylock remains obstinate, Antonio says that no lawful means can save him from his enemy.    

3. Give the meaning of: (a) I do oppose/My patience to his fury.(b) arm'd/To suffer.

Ans:  (a) I shall suffer his cruelty and anger with patience.
 (b) I am prepared to face his cruelty and anger with a calm spirit.

4.  From the speech of the Duke, after the extract, give an example to show that the Duke was annoyed with Shylock.

Ans:  The extract shows the Duke’s annoyance with Shylock. He tells Shylock that it is everyone’s opinion that Shylock intends to keep up the show of severity and hatred until the last stage of the case. Then he will relent and not only show kindness and pity but will agree to abandon his claim and forego a portion of the original sum borrowed by Antonio.

5. In what mood are (a) Shylock and (b) Antonio at this juncture?

Ans: At this juncture, Shylock is defiant and insistent on the penalty for the forfeiture of the bond, i.e., a pound of Antonio’s flesh. 
Antonio on the other hand, is resigned to his fate and is ready to face calmly the consequences of the forfeiture. He believes that no lawful means can save him from Shylock’s sinister intentions.

Extract II

Duke
But, touch'd with human gentleness and love, Forgive a moiety of the principal; 
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses, 
That have of late so huddled on his back, 
Enow to press a royal merchant down, 
And pluck commiseration of his state 
From brassy bosoms and rough hearts of flints, 
From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never train'd 
To offices of tender courtesy.
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.

1. In what way does the Duke expect Shylock to mitigate his stand towards the forfeiture?

Ans:  The Duke expects Shylock to mitigate his stand towards forfeiture after considering Antonio’s heavy losses that have come so thick and fast. The Duke expects that Shylock will be moved by human tenderness and sympathy.

2. What is meant by 'a moiety of the principal'? Why does the Duke request Shylock to have mercy on Antonio?

Ans: ‘A moiety of the principal’ means a part of the principal. The Duke requests to have mercy on Antonio since his losses have been so heavy and have come so thick and fast upon him lately that they have been enough to ruin a noble merchant. They are enough to draw pity and sympathy for his condition from anyone

3. Give the meaning of: (a) so huddled on his back. (b) never train'd/To offices of tender courtesy.

Ans:  (a) So accumulated on him. It refers to the many losses that befell on Antonio so thick and fast.
 (b) Who have never been taught the feelings of human kindness. The Duke says that Antonio’s losses are enough to draw pity and sympathy for his condition, from hearts as hard as brass and as rough as stones and from uncultured Turks and Tartars, who have never been taught the feelings of human kindness.

4. Who are the Turks and Tartars? What is said about them in the extract?

Ans:  Turks and Tartars were certain Asiatic races which the Elizabethans believed to be uncivilised. They were considered uncultured and having no feelings of human kindness. They were considered to be stubborn. The Duke says that even the Turks and Tartars, who have never been schooled in acts of kindness and love, will feel pity and sympathy for Antonio’s plight.

5. Why does Shylock refuse to show mercy on Antonio? What does his attitude show about his character?

Ans:  Shylock refuses to have mercy on Antonio because his motive was to inflict pain on his enemy, i.e., Antonio and to take revenge upon him for the insults hurled upon him and his community by Antonio. This shows that Shylock was a strong willed, inflexible man, whose love for his race was so deep that nothing could prevent him from his purpose

Extract III

Shylock
                                         Now, for your answer:
As there is no firm reason to be render'd, 
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig;
Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
Why he, a woollen bag-pipe; but of force
Must yield to such inevitable shame 
As to offend, himself being offended;
So can I give no reason, nor I will not, 
More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing 
I bear Antonio, that I follow thus 
A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd?

1.  What request made by the Duke is Shylock referring in the context? What examples does he give in the extract to justify his position for not giving a firm reason?

Ans:   Shylock is answering the Duke’s suggestion that he expects a gentle answer from him. Shylock says that he will not give an exact reason. He goes on to state that he has undivided whims like other men. If his house is infested with rats, he may spend ten thousand ducats to have them poisoned. There are people who cannot tolerate the sight of an open-mouthed roasted pig, sight of a cat or the stream of a bag-pipe. In all these there is no definite reason for hating these things. It is determined by a strong whim or mood, which can overpower any reason.

2. Give the meaning of:

(a) As to offend, himself being offended.

(b) a lodged hate:

Ans: (a) This means offending others, after being offended. Shylock speaks of people behaving according to their whims. These people stoop low by offending others and expressing their dislike.
 (b) This means a deep-rooted hatred. This refers to Shylock’s deep and definite dislike and hatred for Antonio.

3. How does Bassanio react to what Shylock says in the extract?

Ans: Bassanio reacts to what Shylock says by calling him a hard-hearted creature. He further says that his answer is no excuse for his merciless actions.   

4. If Antonio is shown mercy by the Duke, against the wishes of Shylock what would be its implication?

Ans: If Antonio is shown mercy by the Duke against the wishes of Shylock, it would be against the justice system of the state that allows rights and privileges of trade to foreigners. Consequently, foreigners will lose their confidence in the just and impartial administration of law in Venice and this will adversely affect its trade and prosperity

5. Show how tense the scene has become as Shylock fights for his legal right against the rest. How does he lose his case at the end?

Ans:  The scene becomes quite tense when Shylock ignores all the attempts to persuade him to give up his bond. He does not relent even when Bassanio offers him ten times the amount for which Antonio is in default. The scene attains the highest tension when Shylock becomes ready with a knife and weighing scale to cut a pound of Antonio’s flesh. At the end, Shylock loses his case, when Portia reminds him that he is entitled to take a pound of Antonio’s flesh but without shedding a single drop of blood, which was impossible condition for Shylock to fulfill.

Extract IV

Antonio
I pray you, think you question with the Jew: 
You may as well go stand upon the beach, 
And bid the main flood bate his usual height;
You may as well use question with the wolf, 
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb; 
You may as well forbid the mountain pines 
To wag their high tops and to make no noise, 
When they are fretten with the gusts of heaven; 
You may as well do any thing most hard, 
As seek to soften that,-than which what's harder?-

1. What argument takes place just before this extract?

Ans:   Just before the given extract an argument takes place between Bassanio and Shylock. Bassanio asks Shylock whether a man is obliged to seek the death of everything he dislikes. In reply, Shylock wants to know when a man hates a thing intensely, why should he not kill it willingly. Bassanio further argues that a first offence does not arouse so fierce a hatred. Shylock argues again with another question. He asks Bassanio whether he would give a serpent a second chance to sting him.

2. Give two examples from the extract to show that it is useless to plead with the Jew to show mercy.

Ans:   In the extract Antonio tells Bassanio that it is useless to plead with the Jew to show mercy. He tells him if he is hoping to soften his heart, he might as well stand on the sea-shore and ask the tide not to rise so high as usual. Secondly, he may as well ask the wolf why he has made the mother sheep to mourn for the lamb he has devoured.

3. Give the meaning of:

(a) bate his usual height:

(b) To wag their high tops:

Ans:  (a) It means reduce its usual height, meaning to ask the ocean tides not to rise.
 (b) It means to sway their high top. It refers to the swaying of the high tops of the pine trees on the mountains.

4.  What reason does Shylock give for his hatred for Antonio?

Ans:   Shylock does not give a definite reason for his hatred for Antonio.He goes on to state that he has individual whims like other men. He says that these people have no well-grounded reason to offer as to why they dislike various objects, like a gaping pig, a harmless domestic cat and a bagpipe. Shylock says that he bears just such a deep-rooted hatred and a definite dislike for Antonio.      

5. Bassanio offers Shylock six thousand ducats. What is Shylock's reaction the offer? What does he finally get?

Ans:   Shylock firmly refuses to accept any amount of money and insists that he will only have his bond because the pound of flesh which he is demanding from Antonio has been bought by him at a high price and no legal authority in Venice can deny him his right. He finally loses the bond and gets nothing, neither Antonio’s pound of flesh nor the money offered by Bassanio. Instead he has to give up his property, his daughter and his religion.

Extract V

Shylock
Why sweat they under burdens? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
Be season'd with such viands? You will answer, 
The slaves are ours: So do I answer you:
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, 
Is dearly bought; tis mine and I will have it. 
If you deny me, fie upon your law! 
There is no force in the decrees of Venice
I stand for judgment. Answer, shall I have it?

1. 'let their beds/ Be made as soft as yours,' Who are they referred to in these lines of the extract? How they are normally treated?

Ans:  In the first line of the extract ‘They’ refers to the slaves of the Christians. The beds of these slaves are referred to here. According to Shylock, the slaves are treated as asses, dogs, and mules and used in mean servile tasks.

2. What is meant by:

let their palates/Be season'd with such viands?!

Ans:  This means to give the slaves rich food to eat. This refers to Shylock’s complaint that Christians don’t provide their slaves the rich food they themselves take and treat them as they please since they are their property.

3. How is the pound of flesh dearly bought by Shylock?

Ans:    Shylock says that the pound of flesh which he claims from Antonio has been bought by him at a high price. As per the bond agreement, at the forfeiture, Shylock is entitled to only a pound of Antonio’s flesh. He will lose his three thousand ducats he had given.

4. Why does Shylock say, I stand for judgment? How can you conclude from the extract that Shylock is good at giving relevant arguments to prove his case.

Ans: Shylock thinks that since the pound of flesh has been bought by him at a high price, it is his and therefore, insists on having it. He demands justice from the Duke as per the bond agreement. 

The given extract proves that Shylock is good at giving relevant arguments to prove his case. He gives replies word by word to the questions put forward by his enemies. When asked to give a noble response on having mercy on Antonio, Shylock says that Christians are no better. They treat their slaves as they treat their asses, dogs and mules. He questions if Christians would allow their slaves to intermarry in their families and allow them to have comfortable beds and tasty food like them. He further argues that just as people have no good reason whey cannot put up with a gaping pig, a harmless domestic cat or a bagpipe, he has no reason to give for taking a pound of Antonio’s flesh.

5. What do the decrees of Venice guarantee? What would happen if Shylock were refused justice?

Ans: Decrees of Venice guarantee equal rights and privileges to the citizens and foreigners. If Shylock were refused justice, the justice system of Venice would be exposed to disrepute and will adversely affect the trade and prosperity of Venice.

Extract VI

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

Bassanio
Good cheer, Antonio! What, man, courage yet! The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, 
Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.

Antonio
I am a tainted wether of the flock, 
Meetest for death: the weakest kind of fruit
Drops earliest to the ground; and so let me.
You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio,
Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.

1. How did Bassanio encourage Antonio assuring him of every help?

Ans:  Bassanio tells Antonio not to lose hope and have courage. He is ready to give his own flesh to greedy Shylock and his whole body too, before he will allow him to lose one drop of Antonio’s blood on his behalf.

2. What is meant by "tainted wether of the flock"? In what way is he meetest for death?. 

Ans:  Antonio says that he is like a sick sheep in the herd only fit to be taken out from the herd for slaughter. He says that he is the most fit or suitable person to die.   

3. What is an epitaph? Why does Antonio talk about the epitaph at this time?

Ans:  Epitaph is an inscription written on the tomb of a dead man. Antonio talks about the epitaph now since he is sure that he has to die as the Jew was determined to have his bond

4.  State the generous offer made by Bassanio just before the extract to save his friend.

Ans: To save Antonio, Bassanio offers to pay Shylock six thousand ducats, double the amount of money borrowed from Shylock.

5. Who comes to the scene immediately after Antonio's speech? Why does the person come?

Ans: Nerissa, dressed as a lawyers’ clerk came to the scene immediately after Antonio’s speech. She came to deliver a letter to the Duke from Dr. Bellario of Padua.

Extract VII

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

Gratiano
O, be thou damn'd, inexecrable dog! 
And for thy life let justice be accused. 
Thou almost makest me waver in my faith, 
To hold opinion with Pythagoras, 
That souls of animals infuse themselves 
Into the trunks of men: thy currish spirit 
Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter, 
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, 
And whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam, 
Infused itself in thee; for thy desires 
Are wolfish, bloody, starved, and ravenous.

1. Explain why Gratiano reacts violently in the extract.

Ans:  When Shylock insists that he wants only his bond and sharpens his knife to cut off a pound of flesh from the man, who has failed to pay the debt, Gratiano gets furious on seeing Shylock’s envious desire to take revenge on Antonio and reacts violently to his remarks.

2. Who was Pythagoras? What was the theory about rebirth according to him? 

Ans:  Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. He taught the doctrine of the transmigration of souls. According to this theory, the souls of after their death enter the bodies of men   

3. Give the meaning of:

(a) waver in my faith:

(b) the gallows did his fell soul fleet:

Ans:  (a) waver in my faith: It means it makes me doubt my own religion (Christianity). It means that Gratiano tends to believe Pythagoras’ Theory of Transmigration of souls.
(b) the gallows did his fell soul fleet: It means that Shylock’s evil spirit resided in a wolf and when that wolf was hanged for killing a man, the soul of the wolf entered the body of his mother and then entered Shylock’s body when he was still unborn.

4.  How did the spirit of the wicked wolf enter into Shylock?

Ans:  The gallows did his fell soul fleet: It means that Shylock’s evil spirit resided in a wolf and when that wolf was hanged for killing a man, the soul of the wolf entered the body of his mother and then entered Shylock’s body when he was still unborn.

5. How can it be concluded from Shylock's tendencies that he has the spirit of the wolf? State clearly how Shylock ridicules Gratiano after the extract.

Ans: It can be concluded that Shylock has the spirit of the wolf because all his inclinations are wolf-like — he is greedy, bloodthirsty and rapacious.
Shylock laughs at Gratiano’s outburst. He says that he is injuring his lungs. He says it is a mere waste of breath unless, curses can make his bond illegal. He sarcastically tells Gratiano to try to get more wisdom or his understanding will soon be beyond the hope of any improvement.

Extract VIII

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

Portia
The quality of mercy is not strain'd, 
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed; 
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
 The throned monarch better than his crown;
 His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this sceptred sway;

1. What is the meaning of strain'd? Why is the quality of mercy, not strained?

Ans:  The word ‘strained’ means forced. Portia tells that the very characteristic of mercy is that there can be no compulsion in its exercise. It drops as freely as the gentle rain from heaven on the earth below. It is beyond the power of man and the law to compel a man to be merciful. Mercy is a free voluntary action.

2. In what way is mercy twice blessed and is mightiest in the mightiest?

Ans:  Portia says that mercy carries with it a two-fold power and a double blessing. It benefits both the giver and the receiver. It is not an attribute of weakness. She says its effect is the greatest and noblest when exercised by the great and the powerful, though the law gives them absolute power to enforce justice     

3. What is a sceptre? What does the sceptre signify?

Ans:  Sceptre is a rod which a king holds in his hand, symbolising his royal power. The king’s sceptre is the outward symbol of his earthly power. It gives him awful majesty and fills his subjects with dread and fear of him.

4.  Give the meaning of:

(a) it becomes/The throned monarch better than his crown.

(b) But mercy is above this sceptred sway.

Ans:  (a) Portia says that mercy sheds upon a royal king a brighter lusture than the crown he wears.
 (b) Portia says that mercy is far above the earthly power of a king symbolised by his sceptre.

5. Why does Portia say that if strict justice is followed none of us would have salvation?

Ans: Portia says that if strict justice were to be meted out to all, no one could enter heaven. We all pray to God for His mercy and that the same prayer which we make to God, should teach us to show mercy to others. Hence, Portia requests Shylock not to press for bare justice in the case but to forego his legal rights and to reason justice with mercy.

Extract IX

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

Portia
Why, this bond is forfeit; 
And lawfully by this the Jew may claim 
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Nearest the merchant's heart. Be merciful:
Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond.

Shylock
When it is paid according to the tenour. 
It doth appear you are a worthy judge:
You know the law, your exposition 
Hath been most sound; I charge you by the law, 
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar,
Proceed to judgment: by my soul I swear There is no power in the tongue of man 
To alter me: I stay here on my bond.

1. What is meant by this bond is forfeit? How is the bond now forfeit?

Ans:  ‘This bond is forfeit’ means that the agreement has been broken and the penalty must be paid. Now the bond is forfeit since Antonio has failed to pay back the three thousand ducats he had borrowed from 
Shylock.

2. Give the meaning of:

When it is paid according to the tenour.

Ans:  It means when it is paid according to the terms of the bond. It refers to Portia’s suggestion to accept three times the money and tear the agreement. Shylock says that the bond can be torn only when its terms are carried out    

3. Why does Shylock call Portia a worthy judge? Why was she compa Daniel earlier?

Ans:  Shylock flatters Portia by calling her a worthy judge. He says that her learned explanation and just decision shows that her knowledge of law is very sound. Earlier, Shylock compared her to Daniel, a wise Jewish prophet. He was a wise judge who saved a woman Susana from wicked elders by cross-examining them separately. So, Shylock is comparing Portia for her wisdom, with Daniel the prophet, for she refuses to break the law on the ground that bad precedents will be created in future

4.  What was Shylock's reaction when Portia offered him thrice the due amount for the first time?

Ans:  When Portia offered him thrice the due amount for the first time, Shylock told her that he has sworn an oath before God to have nothing but the bond. He cannot commit a sin of breaking the oath and not even for the whole wealth of Venice will he break his oath.

5. State why Shylock was confident that no one could take away his right to forfeiture. What impression of Shylock's character do you have from the extract? Give a reason to justify your opinion.

Ans: Shylock was confident that no one could take away his right to forfeiture due to the strict Venetian laws. Portia, the lawyer has already stated that the law cannot be altered to save Antonio as it would set forth bad precedents in the administration of justice. From this extract, Shylock emerges as a firm man who cannot be prevented from his purpose. His rejects Bassanio’s offer to repay ten times the due amount as his motive is not to extract money but to inflict pain on his enemy

Extract X

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

Antonio 
Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you;
For herein Fortune shows herself more kind Than is her custom: it is still her use 
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth, 
To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow 
An age of poverty; from which lingering penance
Of such misery doth she cut me off. 
Commend me to your honourable wife: 
Tell her the process of Antonio's end;
Say how I loved you, speak me fair in death; 
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge Whether Bassanio had not once a love. 
Repent not you that you shall lose your friend, 
And he repents not that he pays your debt;

1. To whom is Antonio speaking these words? What is meant by "Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you"?

Ans:  Antonio is speaking these words to Bassanio. ‘Grieve not that I am afallen to this for you’ — in these words, Antonio asks Bassanio not to worry that this fate has befallen on him for Bassanio’s sake

2. What is the normal custom of the Fortune? What is meant by lingering penance?

Ans:  The normal custom of the Fortune is to allow a man in misfortune to live to see with his hollow eyes and wrinkled face, the ruin which has come upon him and to endure an old age of hardships and sufferings. ‘Lingering penance‘ refers to prolonged suffering of witnessing one’s own ruin and experiencing misery.     

3. Why does Antonio think that Fortune' is kind to him?

Ans:  Antonio thinks that ‘Fortune’ is kind to him by mercifully letting him escape a prolonged suffering of his misfortune by an early death

4.  What request does Antonio make to Bassanio to tell Portia about him?

Ans:  Antonio requests Bassanio to convey his greetings to his noble wife and to tell her the manner of Antonio’s death. He also tells Bassanio to tell her of his true and faithful friendship for him and to speak well of him after his death.

5. What is it that Bassanio must not regret and what is it that Antonio does not repent? What offer does Bassanio make after this extract to save Antonio?

Ans: Bassanio must not regret that Antonio has to face misfortune because of him. Antonio will not regret that he is making the sacrifice for Bassanio’s sake. He is willing to pay the penalty freely and with all his heart. Bassanio is ready to sacrifice everything he has to save Antonio from the evil designs of Shylock. This offer reflects Bassanio’s deep love and friendship for Antonio.

Extract XI

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

Shylock
Is that the law?

Portia
Thyself shalt see the Act;
For, as thou urgest justice, be assured 
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest.

Gratiano
O, learned judge!-Mark, Jew: a learned judge!

Shylock
I take this offer, then; pay the bond thrice, And let the Christian go.

Bassanio
Here is the money..

1. What is the law as interpreted by Portia just before this extract?

Ans:  Just before the given extract, Portia interprets the law to Shylock. She says that the bond allows Shylock only the right to cut a pound of Antonio’s flesh. It does not permit him to shed any blood while cutting off the flesh. However, in the process of cutting if he sheds a drop of blood of a citizen, all his wealth and possessions will be forfeited to the government, according to the law

2. Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest.' What kind of justice is Shylock going to have?

Ans:  Portia tells Shylock that he will get justice as he pleads so insistently for it. But it may be that the justice will be stricter than  what he  wishes  for.  

3. Why does Gratiano rejoice by repeating the words, 'O learned judge?

Ans:  Gratiano is happy as the tide has changed. He taunts Shylock and throws back at him his words in praise of Portia’s wisdom. He calls Portia a most honourable judge. Gratiano tells Shylock to notice that Portia is the most wise judge

4. When the money is being offered by Bassanio, what does Portia say by declining the offer?

Ans:  Portia stops Bassanio from giving the money to Shylock. She states that Shylock shall have the justice he has asked for to the fullest extent. She asks Bassanio not to be in such a hurry. Shylock can have nothing now, but the bond.

5. After the extract, what loophole in the bond is highlighted by Portia? How does Shylock's emotions change at the end of this scene?

Ans: The loophole in the bond highlighted by Portia is that the bond allows Shylock only the right to cut a pound of Antonio’s flesh. It does not permit him to shed any blood while cutting off the flesh. At the end of the scene, Shylock’s emotions changed from that of a self-confident and rigid man to a shattered man, who is forced to give up his property and renounce his religion.

Extract XII

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

Duke
He shall do this, or else I do recant 
The pardon that I late pronounced here.

Portia
 Art thou contented, Jew? what dost thou say?

Shylock
I am content.

Portia
Clerk, draw a deed of gift..

Shylock
I pray you, give me leave to go from hence: 
I am not well: Send the deed after me, 
And I will sign it..

1. State in your own words the 'pardon' referred to in the extract? State the conditions under which the pardon is granted. Why does the Duke threaten to recant the pardon?

Ans:  ‘Pardon’ referred to here is the Duke’s granting Shylock his life. The pardon is granted under the condition that half of his riches will now belong to Antonio, the merchant he plotted against. The other half would go to the state, but if he repents and humbly begs for mercy, the state may just impose a fine instead of taking the full amount. The Duke decrees that Shylock must abide by the conditions put forward by Antonio; otherwise he will withdraw the forgiveness he has extended to him.

2. What two conditions did Antonio impose on Shylock for being allowed to retain half of his wealth?

Ans:  The two conditions Antonio imposed on Shylock are: first, he draws up a will leaving half of his wealth, to Lorenzo and Jessica after his death. Second, that he becomes a Christian. 

3. Give the character of the Duke in this scene.

Ans:  The Duke appears in this scene as a just and kind administrator of justice. Initially, he persuades Shylock to have pity on Antonio for his (Antonio’s) heavy business losses. When Shylock insists on the penalty for the forfeiture of the bond, the Duke follows the course of justice. When Portia points out the penalty for conspiring against a citizen of Venice, he pardons Shylock and grants him his life
 

4.  What would Gratiano do if he were the judge? What comic effect does Gratiano's offer make in the context?

Ans:  It is not wise to arrange marriages through a lottery system where chance plays a significant role and so may not allow one to choose the person of his or her choice. Nerissa justifies the lottery of caskets saying that her father was a virtuous man, who must have had her well-being at heart. So, according to her father’s will, she will be chosen by someone who will truly love her.

5. How can you conclude that Shylock is in a frustrated mood at this time? What are your feelings for Shylock at the end of this scene?

Ans: Shylock is a frustrated man at this stage. All his hopes of taking revenge on Antonio have failed. He begs to be allowed to go home since he is not well. We feel pity for Shylock as he makes a sad exit with the crowd ridiculing him at the door of the court. At the same time, we feel happy that his evil designs did not succeed.

Extract XIII

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

Portia
You press me far, and therefore I will yield.
[To Antonio] Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your sake; 
[To Bassanio] And, for your love, I'll take this ring from you: 
Do not draw back your hand; I'll take no more, 
And you in love shall not deny me this.

Bassanio
This ring, good sir? alas! it is a trifle! 
I will not shame myself to give you this.

Portia
I will have nothing else but only this; 
And now methinks I have a mind to it.

1. What does Portia say about the payment for her services? How does Bassanio insist that Portia should take something as a token of gratitude?

Ans:  Portia says that one who is well pleased with one’s work is sufficiently rewarded. She is well-pleased that she has saved them from the clutches of Shylock and considers this as a sufficient reward. Bassanio insists that Portia should take something as a gift or a token of their gratitude. He tells her to grant him two favours, first not to refuse his request and second to forgive his persistence.

2. What does Portia ask Bassanio to give her as token?

Ans:  Portia asks Bassanio the ring he is wearing as a token of gratitude.

3. Why does Bassanio say that it is a shame to give Portia what she has asked?

Ans:  Bassanio is unwilling to part with the ring. He says that it is a shame to give the ring as it is far from being valuable. He cannot really think of allowing her to accept such a paltry gift.

4.  What is the reality that makes Bassanio hesitant to comply to Portia's request? What does he offer to do instead?

Ans:  Bassanio was hesitant to comply to Portia’s request of giving her the ring he was wearing because it was a gift from his wife. Further, his wife had made him swear never to part with the ring. He offers to give Portia the most valuable ring available in Venice.

5. How does Portia react to his hesitation even after Bassanio tells her of his promise made to his wife? What makes Bassanio change his mind and part with the ring?

Ans: Portia remarks that many men who do not wish to give a present, give such a reason. She adds that if his wife is a sensible person and understands what Portia has done to earn the ring, she will soon relent and will not be angry for long with him.  
Antonio tells Bassanio that he should let Portia have the ring. He tells him that the promise he made to his wife should be outweighed on this occasion by Portia’s merits and the love he bears for Antonio. Hence, Bassanio changes his mind and parts with the ring.

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