Workbook Answers from The Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 1 by William Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice Workbook Answers Act 3 Scene 1 ICSE

Extract 1 from The Merchant of Venice Act III Scene 1

Read the extracts given below and answer the questions that follow:

1. Whom does 'she’ refer to in the first line of the extract? What is said about her in the extract?

In the first line 'she' refers to the rumour or report which is personified as a tatling old woman. When Salarino talks about Antonio's ship, Salanio only wishes that rumour may prove to be a big liar in this case as any old woman, who ever gossiped with her neighbours over her ginger bread cakes and made her neighbours believe that she mourned sincerely for the death of her third husband.


2. What was said earlier about the place where a ship of Antonio was wrecked? Where did the news about the ship wreckage spread?

Earlier, it was told that Antonio's ship was wrecked in the waters of the English channel at a spot known as Goodwin Sands, a most perilous sand bank. The news about the ship wreckage spread at the Rialto or the Exchange where merchants met for business transactions.


3. Give the meaning of:

without any slips of prolixity or crossing the plain highway of talk,

These words mean: 'without speaking much or beating about the bush'. That is without being guilty of any lengthy, irrelevant or tedious speech or going outside plain direct speech.


4. What feelings for Antonio are expressed by Salarino and Salanio in this extract?

In this extract, Salarino and Salanio express their feelings of concern and sympathy for Antonio Salanio calls him 'good Antonio', honest Antonio and wants a better adjective to describe 'him'. Finally, Salanio conveys the news that Antonio has lost a ship. Salarino hopes that this may be the end of his losses.

5. How does Shylock react to the loss of Antonio's ship?

Shylock was pleased to hear about the loss of Antonio's ship. He calls him a spendthrift and a beggar, who used to come smiling, so self-satisfied to the market. He must take care to redeem his bond in time.


Extract 2 from The Merchant of Venice Act III Scene 1

1. Whose flight is being talked about? Where has the person flown? With whom has the person flown?

The flight of Jessica is being talked about. She has flown to Belmont. Jessica has flown with Lorenzo


2. What bad news, besides the flight of the bird, is given just before the arrival of Shylock?

Just before the arrival of Shylock, the news about the Antonio's ship wreck in the English Channel at a spot called Goodwin Sands is given.


3. Give the meaning of:

the bird was fledged;

and then it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam.

These words mean that it is the nature of a fully feathered young bird to leave the nest when it is old enough. He means to say that Jessica was old enough to run away with her lover, Lorenzo.


4. What steps has Shylock taken to get back the flown bird?

Shylock took all possible steps to get back his eloped daughter. He asked the Duke for justice and even persuaded him to check the ship in which Bassanio left for Belmont. Later it was said that someone saw Lorenzo and Jessica in a gondola. Shylock engaged his friend Tubal for finding and bringing Jessica to him.

5. How does Salarino compare the character of the flown bird and of Shylock after the extract?

After the extract, Salarino compares the character of Jessica and Shylock. He says that Jessica is a complete contrast to Shylock as black is to white or as ordinary red wine is to expensive white Rhenish wine.

Extract 3 from The Merchant of Venice Act III Scene 1

1. What is meant by a 'bankrupt as well as a 'prodigal'? Why has the man gone bankrupt? Why is he called a prodigal?

A 'bankrupt’ means a person who has not enough money to pay off his just debts. 'Prodigal' means a spendthrift who spends money recklessly. The man has gone bankrupt because his ship has been wrecked in the English Channel with its rich cargo. He is a spendthrift who has mismanaged his affairs and has gone bankrupt. That is why he is called a prodigal by Shylock.


2. What is known as Rialto? Why was the man said to go 'so smug upon the mart’?

The Venetian Stock Exchange where the merchants used to met to transact business deals, was known as the Rialto, The man used to go to Rialto smiling and so self-satisted because he was sure of his financial position as he owned a number of ships carrying merchandise to the four corners of the world. Shylock says these words to compare Antonio's financial position in the past with his present bankrupt condition.


3. Give some incidents to show that the man referred to in the extract used to insult Shylock.

The man referred to in the extract used to insult Shylock. He used to disgrace him, laugh at his losses, mock at his gains, despise his race and interfere in his business deals simply because he was a Jew.


4. How did the "bankrupt cause loss to Shylock in Venice?

The bankrupt caused loss to Shylock in Venice by lending money without interest and thus, affecting Shylock's business of lending money at exhorbitant rate of interest.


5. How is the bankrupt likely to go into a loss? How will such a loss affect Shylock as far as his revenge and financial position is concerned?

The bankrupt is likely to go into a loss as his ship has been wrecked with its rich cargo. Besides, he is to pay three thousand ducats he had borrowed from Shylock for Bassanio. Such a loss will favour Shylock to pursue his plan of revenge.

Extract 4 from The Merchant of Venice Act III Scene 1

1. Who is the thief referred to in the extract? What had the thief stolen? What loss has Shylock suffered due to the theft?

The thief referred to in the extract is Shylock's daughter, Jessica. The thief had stolen his money, gold and gems, including a diamond costing two thousand ducats. After the theft, Shylock has to spend money to locate Jessica. So he has suffered Joss upon loss due to the theft.

2. Who is Tubal? Why did he go to Genoa?

Tubal is another Jew, a friend of Shylock. He went to Genoa to search for Jessica, who has eloped with Lorenzo.

3. What news did Tubal bring from Genoa about the thief?

Tubal brought the news that he went to the places in Genoa where he heard some news about Jessica but could not find her.

4. State what ill-luck befell Antonio, Why was Shylock happy over the news?

One of Antonio's large ships has been wrecked on the way back from Tripolis. This was the ill-luck that befell Antonio. Shylock was happy over the news as his chances of taking revenge on Antonio became brighter.

5. The extract refers to 'satisfaction' and 'revenge'. In what context are these expressions used by Shylock?

Shylock uses the expression satisfaction and revenge in the context of his efforts to retrieve his lost money and eloped daughter. His daughter, Jessica had stolen money, precious stones, and many other jewels. His efforts to locate her and retrieve them have not succeeded. So, he has neither the satisfaction of getting back his lost daughter and money nor taking revenge on the Christians, who caused her elopement.


6. In the context of the theft, what reference does Shylock make of his bachelor days?

In the context of the theft, Shylock makes a reference to his bachelor days. His wife Leah gave a turquoise ring to him before their marriage. His daughter Jessica stole that ring before eloping and exchanged it for a monkey.

Extract 1 from The Merchant of Venice Act III Scene 1

1. Why does Tubal say that Antonio is undone? What makes him say with certainty that Antonio is undone?

Tubal says that Antonio is undone because he has heard from some of the sailors he met in Genoa that one of Antonio's large ships has been wrecked on the way back from Tripolis.

2. In what mood is Shylock in this scene? How is Tubal said to be torturing him?

In this scene, Shylock is in a mood of grief. He feels as if he is the only one in the world suffering from luck. Tubal is said to be torturing Shylock by giving alternate accounts of Antonio's losses and Jessica's extravagances. He alternately makes Shlock elated and depressed for apparently no reason. He elates him by the news of wreckage of Antonio's ship on its way back from Tripolis, while he depresses him by saying that he could not find Jessica and that she had spent eighty ducats on one evening and exchanged a ring with a merchant for a monkey.

3. What is Shylock's reaction on hearing about Antonio's misfortune? How is he going to punish Antonio? What would he gain by his revengeful action?

Antonio's misfortune makes Shylock elated because he will be able to take his revenge on Antonio. He will punish Antonio by exacting a pound of flesh from any part of his body. By his revengeful action, he would avenge his hatred for Antonio and the Christians. Further, if Antonio is removed from Venice he can make profits as he likes.


4. Give the meaning of:

(a) a wilderness of monkeys: A horde of monkeys. It means that Shylock would not have exchanged his turquoise ring even for a horde of monkeys.

(b) I can make what merchandise I will: I can make as much profit as I like. It means that once Antonio is out of Venice, Shylock can make as much profit as he wants.


5. What is a synagogue? What can you conclude from Shylock's journey towards the synagogue?

A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. Shylock's journey to the synagogue gives us the clue that he will take revenge on Antonio Shylock believes in the old Mosaic law, which prescribed an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. So, Shylock feels he is justified in taking revenge against an enemy of his religion and race.


6. In what way, by the end of the scene, does Shylock convince the audience that his attack on Antonio is without any mercy?

Shylock's passion for revenge and his complete justification of it is given in this scene. He explains the insults he has suffered unjustly and his right to take revenge. He believes that he is doing as his enemies would do. The fierceness of his thirst for revenge is expressed in his final threat I will have the heart of him. Shylock states that Jews are no different from Christians and they will follow their example in the matter of revenge too.

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