Act 1 and 2 Merchant of Venice Quiz

‘Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it, My ventures are not in one bottom trusted, Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate upon the fortune of this present year” Who is Speaking? Antonio To Whom? Solanio and Salarino Paraphrase: No, that’s not it, trust me. Thankfully my financial situation is healthy. I don’t have all of my money invested in one ship, or one part of the world. If I don’t do well this year, I’ll still be okay. So it’s not my business that’s making me sad.Condense: I am financially healthy, and if one of my ships does not do well this year, I will still have enough money left over.
“In Belmont is a lady richly left,And she is fair and—fairer than that word—Of wondrous virtues. Sometimes from her eyesI did receive fair speechless messages.Her name is Portia, O my Antonio, had I but the meansTo hold a rival place with one of them,I have a mind presages me such thriftThat I should questionless be fortunate!” Who is speaking? Bassanio To Whom? Antonio Paraphrase: There’s a girl in Belmont who’s inherited a huge amount of money, and she’s beautiful and—even better—she’s a good person. I think she likes me. Sometimes the expression on her face tells me she likes me. Her name is Portia.Antonio, if I only had enough money to hold my own against those suitors, I know I could win her! Condense: Portia is a beautiful and wealthy women in Belmont who I wish I had a chance to compete for.
“You, that did void your rheum upon my beardAnd foot me as you spurn a stranger curOver your threshold! Moneys is your suit.What should I say to you? Should I not say,”Hath a dog money? Is it possibleA cur can lend three thousand ducats?” Who is speaking? Shylock To whom? Antonio Paraphrase: You say that!—even though you spat on my beard and kicked me like you’d kick a stray mutt out your front door. And now you’re asking for money. What can I tell you? Shouldn’t I say, “Does a dog have money? Is it possible for a mutt to lend three thousand ducats?Condense: Antonio you treat me very poorly and only care about your money.
“And in my conscience, my conscience is but a kind of hard conscience, to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly counsel. I will run, fiend. My heels are at your command. I will run.” Who is Speaking: Lancelet Paraphrase: If I listened to my conscience, I’d stay with the Jew my master, who’s a devil. But if I ran away from the Jew, I’d be following the advice of the devil, who’s the very devil himself. Certainly the Jew is the devil incarnate, and my conscience is giving me a hard time by telling me to stay with the Jew. The devil’s advice is nicer. I’ll run, devil. Tell me to run, and I’ll run.Condense: I will listen to the Devil’s advice and run away from the Jew.
“Alack, what heinous sin is it in meTo be ashamed to be my father’s child!But though I am a daughter to his blood,I am not to his manners. O Lorenzo,If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife,Become a Christian and thy loving wife.” Who is speaking? Jessica To whom? Herself Paraphrase: Oh God, what a heinous sinner I am, being ashamed to be my father’s child! But I need to remember I’m related to him by blood, not behavior. Oh Lorenzo, if you keep your promise to me, I’ll end this agony by becoming a Christian and marrying you.Condense: I wish I was not related to my father, and instead desire to be your Christian wife Lorenzo.
“I hate him for he is a Christian,But more for that in low simplicityHe lends out money gratis and brings downThe rate of usance here with us in Venice.” Who is speaking? Shylock To whom? Bassanio Paraphrase: I hate him because he’s a Christian. But more than that, I hate him because he stupidly lends money without interest, which lowers the interest rates here in Venice. Condense: I hate Antonio not only because he is Christian, but because of his poor money decisions.
“She hath directedHow I shall take her from her father’s house,What gold and jewels she is furnished with,What page’s suit she hath in readiness.” Who is speaking? Lorenzo To whom? Gratiano Paraphrase: She’s told me how I can get her out of her father’s house. She’s also told me what gold and jewels she owns, and she’s described thepage’s uniform she’s keeping to wear as a disguise. Condense: Jessica told Lorenzo that she can leave her father through a disguise, but also that she offers gold and jewels.
“The first, of gold, who this inscription bears:”Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.”The second, silver, which this promise carries:”Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.”This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt:”Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.”How shall I know if I do choose the right?” Who is speaking? Morocco To whom? Portia Paraphrase: The first one, the gold one, has an inscription that says, “He who chooses me will get what many men want.” The second one, the silver one, says, “He who chooses me will get what he deserves.” And this third one is made of dull lead. It has a blunt warning that says, “He who chooses me must give and risk all he has.” How will I know if I chose the right one?
“All that glisters is not gold—Often have you heard that told.Many a man his life hath soldBut my outside to behold.Gilded tombs do worms enfold.Had you been as wise as bold,Young in limbs, in judgment old,Your answer had not been inscrolled.Fare you well. Your suit is cold—” Who is speaking? Morocco To whom? Morocco Paraphrase: All that glitters is not gold—You’ve often heard that said.Many men have sold their soulsJust to view my shiny surface.But gilded tombs contain worms.If you’d been as wise as you were bold,With an old man’s mature judgment,
“I never heard a passion so confused,So strange, outrageous, and so variable,As the dog Jew did utter in the streets.”My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter,Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats!Justice, the law, my ducats, and my daughter!” Who is speaking? Solanio To whom? Salarino Paraphrase: I’ve never heard such confused emotions as what that Jew dog was shouting in the streets. “My daughter, oh my ducats, oh my daughter! Ran off with a Christian! Oh my Christian ducats! Justice, the law, my ducats, and my daughter, Condense: Jessica had run away from her father with a Christian boy, who is Lorenzo.
Salarino “And even there, his eye being big with tears,Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,And with affection wondrous sensibleHe wrung Bassanio’s hand. And so they parted.”Salanio “I think he only loves the world for him”. Paraphase: Then his eyes started tearing up. He turned his face away. Then he shook Bassanio’s hand affectionately—and they separated. I think he only loves life because of Bassanio. Let’s go find him and cheer him up.Condense:
“Still more fool I shall appear”By the time I linger here.With one fool’s head I came to woo,But I go away with two.—” Who is speaking? Arragon To whom? Portia Paraphrase: You’ll have a fool’s head forever.So go away. You’re done here.”The longer I stay, the more foolish I look. I came here with a fool’s head on my shoulders and now I’m leaving with two.—Condense: Arragon had received a head from one of the caskets, instead of Portia
Thus hath the candle singed the moth.O these deliberate fools! When they do choose,They have the wisdom by their wit to lose. Who is speaking? Portia To whom? Nerissa Paraphrase: These men are like moths, drawn to these boxes as if they were flames. This is how the candle burned the moth. Oh, these fools! When they choose, they only know how to lose.Condense: Not on man had opened the casket that granted them Portia because they are too tricked by their perception of wealth.

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