Synopsis of Act 2 Scene 4 of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice Act 2 (Scene 4) Plot Summary with Word Meanings

The subplot further develops in this scene. We see how Jessica and Lorenzo plans to elope. Bassanio's friends are making arrangements for a celebration, a masquerade dinner party. Lorenzo suggests that they should 'slink away' by supper time and meet at his residence to disguise themselves. They also have to arrange for the torch bearers for the masque. While they are talking, Launcelot enters and hands over Jessica's letter to Lorenzo. Launcelot is in a hurry as Bassanio had told him to give the invitation for dinner to Shylock. Lorenzo gives the clown some money and sends a message to Jessica with him.

Lorenzo shares his secret elopement plans with Gratiano. Jessica has informed him that she'll leave her father's house that night, dressed as a page. She'll carry some money and jewels from the house. Lorenzo decides that he'll be their torch bearer. Gratiano is delighted to hear about the plan and offers to help them in any manner he can.

Word - Meanings 

slink away - slip away,
disguise - dress as someone or something else to hide own identity,
preparation - arrangement,
spoke us yet - provided us with,
vile - disgusting,
quaintly order'd - done with style,
furnish us - be ready,
seem to signify - inform you,
know the hand - recognize the handwriting,
by your leave - with your permission,
bid – invite,
masque - a procession in which the participants wear masks,
some hour hence - in an hour,
furnished - supplied,
page's suit - uniform of a boy servant to a person of high rank,
foot - path,
cross her foot - come in her way,
issue - offspring,
faithless - one who doesn't believe in Christianity,
peruse - study

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