The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare

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What would be fitting titles for the nine scenes in Act 2 of The Merchant of Venice?

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One way you could meet the requirements for this assignment is to match the theme with the main character's name from each scene. Scene one is about Morocco, the first suitor, presenting himself to Portia as a suitor, whereupon, Portia warns him that if he chooses the wrong box, then he is not allowed to speak to her again. So, this scene could be called, "Morocco: The first suitor." The second scene mostly involves Launcelot, the clown, riddling with Gobo; but Bassanio also enters the discussion near the end of the scene. Launcelot wants to leave Shylock's house and Bassanio gives him a way. Hence, the second title could be called "Launcelot's Riddling," or "Launcelot's Escape." For the third scene, there is Launcelot saying good-bye to Jessica, Shylock's daughter, and that's it. "Launcelot's Goodbye" or something that has to do with Jessica's inner conflict between hating her father and having some desire to her blood line to remain loyal. Truly, though, her heart is with Lorenzo's plan to leave just like Launcelot leaves. Scene IV has Launcelot crossing paths with Lorenzo who seeks to use Jessica's affections to steal from her father. "Lorenzo's Con" might be a good title for this scene. Scene V should be entitled "Jessica's Betrayal" because this is the last time she speaks with her father, Shylock, before she plays the role of Judas. Scene VI shows Jessica and Lorenzo meeting up and leaving together, so something appropriate along those lines would work. Back to Portia, Scene VII shows Morocco's decision making skills as he attempts to choose the correct box for Portia's hand in marriage. "Morocco's Decision" or something along those lines might work here. Further, Scene VIII shows Solanio and Salerio discussing their loyalties to Antonio and Bassanio: "Loyal Admirers," could be a good title here. Finally, Scene IX shows Arragon, the second suitor visiting Portia, so "The Second Suitor: Arragon" could be the final title. This is a great assignment. It helps the student to summarize the scene quickly through titles! :)

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