The Merchant of Venice Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Act 5, Scene 1 Evaluate the atmosphere at the end of the play, taking into account the following : - the marriage of Bassanio and Portia - the marriage of Gratiano and Nerissa - the marriage of Lorenzo and Jessica - the situation of Antonio - the situation of Shylock

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Shakespeare provides “The Merchant of Venice” with what seems like a fairytale ending but upon closer inspection things are not quite as happy as they appear. Act 5 opens in Belmont with the scene between Lorenzo and Jessica as they comment on the night and try to one-up each other with their verses. It seems happy and light, but then Lorenzo gets a bit short with Jessica, calling her a shrew, and Jessica herself begins to recall the Greek story of Medea and her father Aeson, a story that seems to indicate that her thoughts are drifting back to her own father. Their...

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