The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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Act III, Scenes 1-5: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why, since it won’t result in any financial gain, does Shylock insist on the terms of his bond with Antonio?

2. What news does Tubal bring Shylock?

3. Why does Portia want Bassanio to wait before facing the challenge of the three caskets?

4. Why does Bassanio select the lead casket?

5. What does the lead casket contain?

6. What does Portia claim will occur if Bassanio gives up the ring she gives him?

7. What does Gratiano reveal after Bassanio solves the riddle of the three caskets?

8. Why does Portia allow Bassanio to leave before they get married?

9. According to Antonio, why won’t the Duke be able to intercede on his behalf?

10. What does Portia decide to do at the end of Act III?

Answers
1. Shylock wishes to cut off Antonio’s flesh in order to “feed [his] revenge. [Antonio] hath disgraced [him]…laughed at [his] losses…scorned [his] nation, [and] thwarted [his] bargains” out of (so Shylock claims) pure racial hostility.

2. Tubal tells Shylock that one of Antonio’s ships has been wrecked “coming from Tripolis” and that Jessica has spent a great deal of his money.

3. Afraid that Bassanio will fail, but desirous of his company, Portia wishes to...

(The entire section is 393 words.)