Questions and Answers for The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice

What is a character sketch of the six suitors in The Merchant of Venice?

In fact, Portia has nine suitors for her hand in marriage in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. In act 1, scene 2, Portia describes six of the suitors to Nerissa, Portia's "waiting woman."...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2020 8:00 pm UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

What is a character sketch of the Prince of Morocco in The Merchant Of Venice?  

The Prince of Morocco's grand entrance at the beginning of Act a, is an excellent indication of his flamboyant and seemingly overbearing nature. His opening remark, "Mislike me not for my...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2017 1:42 pm UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

Why did the prince of Arragon choose the silver casket in The Merchant of Venice?

In Act Two, Scene 9, the Prince of Arragon arrives at Belmont and tries his luck choosing the right casket. After taking an oath to not tell anyone which casket he chooses and agreeing to never...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2017 11:58 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

What is the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice?

Antonio and Bassanio appear to have a family connection, since Salanio refers to Bassanio as Antonio's "most noble kinsman." This, however, is secondary to their deep friendship, to which Antonio...

Latest answer posted December 4, 2020 10:50 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

What is the reason for Antonio's sadness in Act 1, scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare?  

It is unclear exactly what mad Antonio sad. He himself does not know either. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad:It wearies me; you say it wearies you;But how I caught it, found it, or came by...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2016 6:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

In The Merchant Of Venice, how does Lorenzo plan to disguise Jessica in order for her to escape from her father?  

Lorenzo's plan is that Jessica should dress up as a boy and then be his torchbearer during a street festival. In this way, nobody would notice her and her camouflage would make others believe that...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2016 3:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

Why Did Prince Of Morocco Choose The Gold Casket

In The Merchant of Venice, the Prince of Morocco is the first of Portia's suitors to have to choose between the caskets of gold, silver, and lead to win her hand in marriage. He chooses gold...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2020 10:53 am UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

What were the inscriptions and contents of the three caskets, and what significance do they play on the course of the...

The first of the three caskets is gold. The inscription on the outside reads: Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire. On the inside is a skull with the following inscription: All that...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2020 1:04 pm UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

 Explain the interaction between Launcelot and Old Gobbo in Act II Scene ii of The Merchant of Venice.

The interaction between Lancelot and his father, Old Gobbo, in this scene, is based on a comic misunderstanding: Old Gobbo is nearly blind and does not even recognise his own son. Lancelot...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2013 12:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

Character Sketch Of Antonio In Merchant Of Venice

Antonio is a generous, willing, loyal friend and an understanding devoted friend. He is willing to come to Bassanio's aid for what some might call a flimsy reason. As a businessman, he has all his...

Latest answer posted January 20, 2010 5:01 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

What is Portia's reaction to the Prince of Morocco in The Merchant of Venice?

Act 2, scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice opens with Portia and the Prince of Morocco already in conversation. It appears that the Prince has been doing most of the talking, but Portia doesn't seem...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2019 3:32 am UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

Is Shylock a victim, a villain, or some combination of both?

Shylock is one of Shakespeare's most memorable characters and can be viewed as both a victim and a villain in the play The Merchant of Venice. As a villain, Shylock is a heartless, cruel...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2020 1:23 pm UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

In The Merchant of Venice, why does Gratiano say, "Let me play the fool" in Act 1, scene 1?

Gratiano has just told Antonio that he does not look well and that he is much too serious. He tells him that those who care too much about the world tend to lose the little they have. He says that...

Latest answer posted May 11, 2016 3:33 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

Who is the hero of the play The Merchant of Venice and why?

Portia is the hero of the The Merchant of Venice. Men create or get themselves into predicaments, but Portia steers them through them successfully. Her greatest triumph comes when she disguises...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2017 3:58 am UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

How would you describe and analyze the Prince of Arragon in The Merchant of Venice?

In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, the Prince of Arragon, who appears in only one scene in the play, is the second of Portia's suitors who submits to the casket test devised by Portia's...

Latest answer posted December 16, 2020 4:51 pm UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

In The Merchant Of Venice, what are the meanings of 'bankrupt' and 'prodigal'? Why has the person being referred to...

The terms bankrupt and prodigal are used in Act 3, scene 1 by Shylock the Jewish moneylender, when he refers to Antonio, a Christian merchant and also our protagonist. Shylock has been conversing...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2016 8:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

In The Merchant of Venice, why does Launcelot want to leave Shylock's service?  

At the beginning of scene 2, Act II, Launcelot mentions one of the reasons why he should leave Shylock's service. In his monologue, he makes it clear that it is not an easy decision and is...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2016 4:37 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

In Act I, Scene 2 of The Merchant of Venice, what is Portia's opinion of all her suitors?

While in this politically correct contemporary time, much is made of Shylock's character, The Merchant of Venice is really Portia's play, a romantic comedy. This distinction is certainly evinced in...

Latest answer posted September 14, 2013 6:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

Why did Bassanio borrow money from Antonio, and how does this create a conflict between Antonio and Shylock?

As was mentioned in the previous post, Bassanio has squandered his money and asks Antonio for a loan in order to travel to Belmont to win Portia's hand in marriage. Portia is a wealthy heiress who...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2017 10:58 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

What is the significance of the ring which Portia gives to Bassanio in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice?

The ring in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice has great significance between Portia and Bassanio because it is a symbol of their marriage. Portia gives Bassanio the ring along with her vows and...

Latest answer posted November 11, 2013 6:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

In The Merchant of Venice, from Act 2 Scene 5, please answer the following questions: Why does Shylock accept the...

Shylock accepts the dinner invitation because he wishes to strengthen his advantage over Antonio. He has just caught the Christian merchant at a disadvantage since Antonio had asked him for a loan....

Latest answer posted December 10, 2016 1:14 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

In Act 2, Scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice, what explanation does Morocco give for his dark complexion? What...

In Act 2 Scene 1 of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, the Prince of Morocco tries to impress Portia in order to marry her. He tells her that she should not dislike him because of his...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2013 6:42 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

How does Portia save Antonio from Shylock's clutches in the courtroom in  Act 4 in The Merchant of Venice?

In act IV, Portia initially attempts to influence Shylock to show Antonio mercy by telling Shylock he should overlook the forfeiture. Bassanio even agrees to pay Shylock three times the sum of the...

Latest answer posted August 13, 2017 3:28 pm UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

Explain the lines, "If Hercules and Lichas play at dice...And so may I, blind fortune leading me, Miss that which one...

These words are a portion of the retort uttered by the Moroccan Prince when he addresses Portia. In these lines, he is indirectly referring to the gamble that he has undertaken by competing in a...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2017 8:59 am UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

From The Merchant of Venice, illustrate the theme of friendship and loyalty.

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare approaches themes of friendship and loyalty in several different ways, some more obvious than others. Characters exemplify both loyalty and...

Latest answer posted November 29, 2019 10:20 pm UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

Please explain to me Portia's speech on the quality of mercy in act 4 of The Merchant of Venice.

In her famous "the quality of mercy is not strained" speech in act 4, scene 1 of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Portia, disguised as a young Doctor of Laws, appeals to Shylock's...

Latest answer posted December 17, 2020 12:02 pm UTC

4 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

What was Portia's role in the trial scene in The Merchant of Venice?

Portia was there to defend Antonio against Shylock's claim to a pound of his flesh for forfeiting on a bond which he had signed as a guarantee for the repayment of a loan in the amount of three...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2016 3:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

What are the mythological and biblical allusions used in The Merchant of Venice?

There are numerous allusions made throughout William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. The allusions made are meant to make the reader think about how the allusion makes a statement about what...

Latest answer posted June 8, 2018 11:36 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

How would you describe the friendship of Antonio and Bassanio in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice?

Antonio and Bassanio are very close friends who have a great deal of loyalty to one another. They are both well-respected members of Venetian society. That being said, it is worth noting that their...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2020 4:56 am UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

How does Portia manage to save Antonia from Shylock's terrible agreement?

Portia manages to save Antonio from Shylock collecting on his bond by disguising herself as a male doctor and cleverly finding a loophole in the law that prevents Shylock from harming Antonio....

Latest answer posted June 10, 2018 5:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

Explain the theme of mercy vs. justice as presented in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

When discussing the matters of the law, one must accept what is written in the law books which are accepted by the people or rulers of the country. Laws are written in order to protect people from...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2013 5:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

What is the reason for Antonio's melancholy in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare?

Antonio is portrayed as a melancholy character from the outset of the play. In the first scene, Antonio's friends, Salarino and Solanio, insist that Antonio is upset and depressed about his ships....

Latest answer posted November 8, 2017 5:16 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

Why Did Bassanio Choose The Lead Casket

In thinking about the reasons Bassanio chooses the lead casket over the gold or silver one in The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare, it is also worth considering the qualities of lead. As...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2010 5:16 pm UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

Write a character sketch of Bassanio?

Bassanio in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is the central instigator of all the follows and he not the most steady young man in Venice. He has considerable bad qualities but he also has...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2010 4:30 am UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

What is the conflict between Antonio and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice? Does it have any roots in religion?

The conflict between Antonio and Shylock arises partly from religion and partly from economic causes. Antonio wants to borrow money from Shylock, who is employed as a moneylender. While he needs...

Latest answer posted January 9, 2017 1:35 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

What is the importance of the trial scene in The Merchant of Venice?

The trial is perhaps the most crucial scene in the play. In Act IV, Scene I, Shylock demands the right to cut a pound of flesh from Antonio’s body. The court’s decision determines Antonio’s fate....

Latest answer posted May 12, 2016 2:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

Why is Portia angry with her deceased father?

When the audience first meets Portia, she is lamenting her difficult situation to Nerissa at her palace in Belmont. Portia expresses her displeasure by telling Nerissa, O me, the word “choose!” I...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2019 2:43 pm UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

Why does Salarino refer to Antonio as the "two-headed Janus" in The Merchant of Venice?    

The reference to Janus comes in Act I, Scene 1—Antonio is complaining because he is sad, but does not know why, and Salanio and Salarino are making suggestions as to the possible causes of his...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2016 5:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

How does Shylock defend his practice of charging interest on loans, in Shakespeare's play, The Merchant of Venice?

In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Shylock tries to defend the charging of interest by referring to a Biblical story in the Old Testament. The story he refers to is Jacob taking care of his...

Latest answer posted January 4, 2011 2:40 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

In The Merchant of Venice, which casket did the Prince of Morocco choose, and why did he make this choice? 

When the Prince of Morocco first appears in Williams Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice as a suitor to Portia, a beautiful and wealthy heiress, the Prince seems to want to impress her with his...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2021 12:17 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

Describe, and account for, the mood in which Shylock appears in court in the trial scene (Act 4, Scene 1) in The...

When Shylock appears before the Duke, his initial mood can best be described as vengeful. He takes an uncompromising stance and wishes to exact his revenge. Even when the Duke asks him to be...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2016 6:30 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

Does Portia like the Prince of Morocco? Why?

While Portia does not seem to dislike the Prince of Morocco as she does the foolish Arragon, she certainly did not want to marry him. Her comment after he chooses the incorrect casket demonstrates...

Latest answer posted May 12, 2010 2:19 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

Why does Shylock hate Antonio?

Shylock is a usurer who mercilessly exploits his victims. His relationship with Antonio is a contentious one because Antonio has denounced Shylock in public, and he has rescued many from their...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2018 11:25 am UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

Conclusion Of Merchant Of Venice

Portia, disguised as a doctor, cleverly manipulates the law to show that Shylock isn't entitled to spill any of Antonio's blood although he's entitled to Antonio's flesh. If he does, his land and...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2007 5:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

In Act 4 Scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice, who was Pythagoras and what was his theory?

In The Merchant of Venice, Antonio is unable to pay his bond to Shylock and Shylock is therefore claiming his "equal pound of your fair flesh" (I.iii.144) from Antonio which is the forfeit to which...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2015 5:12 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Merchant of Venice

What can we learn about Launcelot and Jessica from Act 2, Scene 3 of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice with...

As we are limited in space, here are a few ideas to help you understand the passage better and help get you started:Jessica is the daughter of Shylock, the rich Jew that Launcelot was employed...

Latest answer posted November 24, 2013 4:06 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

What is a short summary on Merchant of Venice?

Bassanio needs money to woo the wealthy Portia. He asks his friend Antonio, a wealthy merchant, for a loan. Antonio's money is tied up in merchant ships carrying back goods from different parts of...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2017 1:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Merchant of Venice

In The Merchant of Venice, where have some of Antonio's ships sunk?

In act 3, scene 1, Solanio informs Salarino that there are rumors throughout the Rialto that confirm Antonio has lost a ship with expensive cargo in the English Channel on the Goodwin Sands, which...

Latest answer posted February 13, 2018 2:53 pm UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

In The Merchant of Venice, what reason does Shylock give for wanting the pound of Antonio's flesh?

In act three, scene one, Salarino asks Shylock what good it will be to receive a pound of Antonio's flesh, and Shylock responds by saying that he will use the merchant's flesh as fish bait. Shylock...

Latest answer posted August 7, 2018 2:20 pm UTC

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The Merchant of Venice

Explain the title of the play, "The Merchant of Venice".

The title of the play seems to refer specifically to Antonio, who is indeed the Venetian merchant of the story. This is odd, as Antonio is more of a secondary character, remaining offstage and...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2018 6:59 pm UTC

2 educator answers

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