The Merchant Of Venice Act 1 Scene 3 Extra Question And Answers ICSE Class 9, 10
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Act 1 scene 3
1 . Who is introduced in this scene? Give a brief description about his character.
_ In this scene, Shylock, the Jewish moneylender of Venice is introduced . He stands among one of the most powerful make characters of Shakespeare. Shylock hated Antonio which intensifies the drama. Shylock is of a complex character who is a combination of both good and bad traits. On one hand, he appears to be bloodthirsty, cunning and greedy and on the other hand , an oppressed and much hated alien. He had a greed for money as he lends money by charging exorbitant rates of interest.
2 . Who is Shylock talking to? Where are they ? About what purpose were they talking?
Shylock was talking to Bassanio Antonio’s closest friend. They were at a public place in Venice.
Bassanio came to Shylock to ask whether he could lend him three thousand ducats for three months and Antonio will stand as a guarantee for their bond, whom Shylock hated the most.
3 . Shylock says that Antonio is a “good man”. What does Shylock indicate by saying this?
_ On hearing that Antonio would give the guarantee of the bond Shylock said that he is a good man is just to make Bassanio understand that he is sufficiently credit- worthy and trustworthy. Although his business ventures are scattered all around the world but he is wealthy merchant and can pay the debts without relying on his business ventures. That’s why he said Antonio a good man.
4 . Mention the places where Antonio’s ships were squandered.
_ Antonio was a rich merchant of Venice. His income did not rely on one particular merchant ship rather his business was squandered to all parts of the world. He had an argosy ( merchant ship) bound to Tripolis( Mediterranean coast of Africa), second one was bound to the Indies. Moreover, at the Venetian stock exchange ( the Rialto) he had a third one at Mexico, fourth one at England and other ventures scattered abroad.
5 . What were the risks that Shylock pointed out about Antonio’s merchant ship?
_ Shylock says that although Antonio has a huge business ventures spread all around the world but there are many possible risks to his business. He said that ships are only boards of wood and sailors are only normal human. There are land-rats, land- thieves, water-rats, water-thieves , he meant pirates. Then, there is possible chances of storms, heavy winds and rocks which could destroy his merchant ships in no time and he would suffer a great loss.
6 . How it can be proved that Antonio is over-confident regarding his business?
_ Antonio is a wise man and a rich merchant of Venice. He lends money to others with imposing any interest on them. But he was quite overconfident regarding his business. He knew very well about the hazards of sea and was well aware of the dangers to his merchant ship. But even after knowing this, he said Bassanio to lend money from Shylock by giving his guarantee. He was very confident that his ships would return before the due time and he would be able to pay the debt to Shylock and without thinking about the consequences he signed the bond with one of his most hated person that is Shylock.
7 . What was Bassanio’s proposal to Shylock and what was the purpose?
_ Bassanio invited Shylock to join them at dinner. The purpose behind the invitation was that at the dinner , Shylock could directly talk to Antonio regarding their deal for which Antonio was the guarantee. However , Shylock refused to dine with them as he was an opponent of the Christian culture.
8 . Why was Shylock not ready to dine with Antonio?
_ Shylock was the opponent and hater of the Christian culture. He was not ready to dine with them because Christian ate pork which was a forbidden food for the Jews. Moreover, according to Greek mythology, Jesus Christ ( the Nazarite) healed a madam by ordering the devil that him to leave the man and enter into a herds of pigs. That’s why Shylock was not ready to dine with the Christians.
9 . What were the things Shylock was willing and unwilling to do with the Christian?
_ Shylock was ready to do all the business activities such as he was ready to buy with them, sell with them, talk to them, walk with them . But he was not willing to eat with them, drink with them, nor pray with them as doing those things will make him against his Jewish culture as the eating pattern , drinking patterns were all in contrast to the Christian culture.
10 . Who entered the scene ? And what was Shylock’s reaction after seeing him?
_ Signior Antonio entered the scene. Shylock hated Antonio . He hated him because Antonio is a Christian. Moreover, Antonio lends money without taking any interest, Shylock considered this as his foolishness and for this reason the people of Venice wouldn’t borrow much money from Shylock. He also says that if he could get hold of him at a disadvantage then he would be surely take advantage of the situation to take revenge from Antonio and satisfy his grudges against him.
11 . What is meant by fawning publican? Who is said to be a fawning publican ?
Fawning basically means servile or cringing and publican is referred to a “Roman tax-collector”. Publican is a natural term of contempt and loathing in mouth of a Jew. In simple words it signifies low-caste or untouchables.
Antonio was called a fawning publican by Shylock . It was Shylock’s hatred which made him call Antonio a fawning publican . There was no other reason behind this. As Antonio hated their sacred nation and lended money with taking any interest, Shylock hates him.
12 . What idea of character do you get about Shylock when he explains the reason behind his hatred for Antonio?
_ By hearing the speech of Shylock we get a clear picture that he is a man of revenge. Shylock is a fanatical follower of his religion as he Hayes Antonio because he is a Christian whereas he is a Jew. Then we see that Shylock is a usurer who lends money after imposing a huge amount of interest. This shows his greedy nature and hates Antonio because he doesn’t impose interest while lending money .
13 . Was Shylock’s reasoning regarding his hatred for Antonio convincing and why?
_ To some extent , Shylock’s speech was convincing . The reasons which Shylock elaborates for his hatred were quite strong. Antonio was a hater of Shylock’s religion so it is quite valid that Shylock will also hate Antonio because he is a Christian. Shylock lends money by imposing huge interest whereas Antonio doesn’t indulge himself in such practice . In this case, Shylock is not justified for his practice of imposing interest but justified in his grievance that Antonio has been publicly denouncing him for his practice of imposing interest.
14 . What does Shylock says regarding his money and whom does he refer?
_ Three thousand ducats was a huge amount . Shylock says as far his memory is concerned he doesn’t have three thousand ducats at present situation . So he referred Tubal who was of his tribe, who is a wealthy Jew and he is the one who can supply him with the money he needed.
15 . How did Antonio break his custom for Bassanio?
_ Antonio was a wealthy merchant of Venice. He had his business scattered all around the world. Bassanio his closest friend needed a huge amount of three thousand ducats to participate in the lottery of casket. As Antonio’s ships were sailing abroad he didn’t have that huge amount but he assures Bassanio that if he uses Antonio’s name as surety then ,he could easily get a loan . Antonio neither lends nor borrows excess money but for his closest friend’s need he had to break his custom a borrow money from Shylock, his biggest hater.
16. Who is Jacob?
_ Jacob was the third in the lines of heirs to family estate. The first one was Abraham and second one was , Isaac. Jacob was not actually the third heir as he was younger than his brother Essay. But Jacob’s mother was a clever lady and played a trick to make Jacob Isaac’s heir.
17. Which story from the Bible is being referred by Shylock?
_ A reference is made to the following story in the Bible. Jacob , son of Isaac , went to serve under his uncle Laban. An agreement was made between them. The agreement was Jacob would receive all the lambs which would be spotted or stripped . During the breeding season, Jacob put the rods in such a position that the shadows of the rod could fall on the sheep. By this means Jacob is said to have influenced the ship so much that almost all the lambs were born spotted or stripped and according to the agreement they became the property of Jacob.
18 . What did Shylock want to justify by saying this story? What was Antonio’s response regarding the justification?
_ By referring the story of Jacob, Shylock wanted to justify that there is nothing wrong in charging interest after lending money . To this Antonio says that Jacob became prosperous not because he had the power to devise the birth of the stripped or spotted lam but because of God’s will who decided and directed the whole thing.
19 . What is meant by the phrase “ shall we be beholding to you”? What is Rialto?
_ The above quoted phrase is said by Antonio to Shylock. This meant that shall they stick to Shylock and be sure that he would lend them the amount of three thousand ducats. Rialto is a business spot for the merchants where all the business discussion, decisions are made among the merchants.
20. How did Antonio insult Shylock in the Rialto?
_ In the Rialto, Antonio have often absurd him because of his money and his moneylending deals. But still Shylock tolerated those insults with a patient shrug as sufferance is the badge of Jewish tribe. Antonio also called him misbeliever, merciless dog and spit on his long loose cloak which was worn traditionally by the Jews. And all this was done because Shylock had put to use the money which belonged to him.
21 . How did Shylock expressed his grudges against Antonio ?
_ When Antonio came to Shylock for money Shylock said him that he spat on his Jewish beard. Antonio also kicked him as he would spurn a stray dog out of his house. And now Antonio have come to him for money . Shylock questions him , how could a dog lend him an amount of three thousand ducats or should he bend low and in a humble tone he would say that “ sir, you have spit on me last Wednesday and kicked me out of your house another time and called me dog in public and for these courtesies should I lend you money?”
22 . How did Antonio react to Shylock’s grudges?
_ Antonio said that he would call Shylock a dog again , if he gets a chance he will spit on him again and would spurn again. He also says that if Shylock lends him money, then he suggests not to lend it as friends but to lend it as enemies . And if he fails to return the money on time then without any guilt Shylock is permitted to take the penalty.
22 . What kindness did Shylock offer to Antonio?
_ Shylock consoles Antonio by saying him not to get angry and he was ready to become Antonio’s friend and have his love. He also says him to forget the insults of the past and says him to say his present demand without any hesitation and he will not even take a small insignificant sum as an interest.
22 . What was the dual meaning of the word “ kind” in the sentence “ This is kind I offer”?
Here “ Kind” had a double meaning.
Kind is used as in the statement: A man likes the company of his own kind. Thus Shylock means that it was Antonio’s system to give loan without any interest which Shylock offers to Antonio.
Kind also has the usage: to pay a man in kind which means to return similar treatment to him. So , Shylock may have thought here that he intends to repay Antonio with insults similar to those he had received himself.
23 . Where did Shylock offer Antonio to come with him? What was the bond singed between them?
_ Shylock offers Antonio to come with him to the notary and sign a bond . According to the bond, if Antonio is unable to pay the money which he borrowed from Shylock after three months then for penalty Antonio had to give exactly a pound of his fair flesh . It would be the decision of the Shylock from which part of Antonio’s body the flesh will be cut.
24 . What was Antonio and Bassanio’s reaction to the penalty?
Antonio was ready to sign the bond without any fear as he expected that two months before the expiry of the bond, he will get three times the value of this bond.
Bassanio being a very good friend of Antonio did not permit him to sign the bond. Bassanio would prefer to stay in his present state of necessity rather than permitting Antonio to sign the bond for him.
25 . Why did Shylock want to take the flesh of Antonio as a penalty?
_ Shylock was waiting for a long time to take revenge against Antonio. His main intention was not to take money from Antonio as interest or penalty as he knew he was a wealthy merchant but to take proper revenge of the insults done to him by Antonio. Human flesh had no such market value like beef or mutton but still Shylock intended to cut off the exact pound of flesh just to take revenge from Antonio.
26 . What did Shylock say at the time of his departure?
_ Shylock said Antonio to meet him at the notary to sign the bond. Then he said ,he would return home to take the ducats and to see his house as he had left his house in the hands of a fearful guard. After taking the money he would meet Antonio in the notary to sign the bond.
27 . Describe in brief the character of Antonio.
_ Antonio is a wise, wealthy merchant but besides that he was overconfident regarding his business which was scattered all around the world. He did not care about the risk factors that could destroy him at once and turn him into beggar. Without thinking twice he signed the bond as he knew he would get thrice the value of this bond.
28 . Describe in brief the character of Shylock.
_ Shylock was a greedy money lender as he never lend money without imposing high interest. He was also very revengeful in cases of Antonio. Instead of imposing high amount of interest as penalty, he made a bond that he would take the exact pound of flesh from Antonio’s body which merely had any market value as compared to beef or mutton . This shows how much Shylock hated Antonio.