What happens in act 2, scene 8 of The Merchant of Venice?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Act 2, Scene 8 is a conversation between Salerio and Solanio, revealing events which have transpired while Scene 7 was taking place.  Shylock is furious because his daughter has run off with his money and Lorenzo.  Bassanio's ship has set sail for Belmont, and another ship has been wrecked in the English Channel.  Salerio and Solanio know that Antonio is sad because Bassanio has departed, and they will try to raise his spirits.

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dk3006 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

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In Act Two Scene Eight we see Salerio and Solanio discussing events that have transpired since the previous scene. They speak of the rumours that Antonio's ships have crashed. Also they speak of Jessica's elopement. Then when Shylock arrives they taunt him over the disappearance of Jessica. Then Shylock says the famous "to bait fish withal" speech. Shylock says this as a cry for religious tolerance and also to justify what he will do to Antonio in the later Acts.