Who is the torchbearer referred to in Act II, Scene 4, of The Merchant of Venice?
Jessica, daughter of the Jewish moneylender Shylock, is the torchbearer being referred to in this scene. This scene specifically relates to her preparations to elope with her Christian lover, Lorenzo, which occurs in Act 2, Scene 6.
In Act II, Scene 5, Shylock is preparing to have dinner with Bassanio, Antonio, and their friends. He loathes socializing with Christians, but decides to honor their invitation as a matter of courtesy since he signed an agreement with Antonio to extend Bassanio a loan of three thousand ducats. His agreement to attend is, therefore, more for business than anything else.
During this particular evening, the Christians are hosting a street carnival where participants wear masks. Shylock instructs Jessica not to take any interest in such — what he believes to be — immoral practices...
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