Merchant of Venice: Act 1

What is Antonio’s emotional state at the beginning of the play? he is sad; he doesn’t know why he is sad”In sooth I know not why I am so sad.”
What do Solanio and Salerio think is the reason Antonio is sad? Salerio: thinks that he is sad because his mind is on the sea or where are his shipsSolanio: he says he would be sad too wondering about his ships; later says he is in love really think he is worried about his ships being wrecked
When Antonio denies this, what other reason do they give? “therefore my merchandise does not make me upset” denies being in love
What impression is given of Bassanio? He owes Antonio a lot of money; he likes to spend and have a good time. An honorable person, wants to pay him back.
What opinion does Bassanio give of Grantiano? He says that he talks too much
What is Bassanio’s problem? He doesn’t have enough money and wants to borrow money because he is in love and wants to go to Belmont to see Portia
Why would Portia be a good match? She is rich and Bassanio swears they have a connection. Portia’s “fairer than the world” – beautiful
What relationship exists between Bassanio and Antonio? They are Kinsmen – really good friends like brothers
What help does Antonio offer? Antonio offers Bassanio credit
Compare Portia’s mood in her opening speech with that of Antonio’s. They are both sad and want to find love
What is Nerissa’s feeling about moderation? It’s important to live in moderation but it is hard to do
What does Portia say about preaching and practice? She says that it’s easier to preach then to practice
What is the significance of repeating some form of the word “choose”? It shows that she doesn’t have a choice because of her fathers will
Identify and describe the lovers who come to woo Portia. They are all full of themselves, dull, and have a terrible personality
What information is given about Portia’s father’s will? Whoever wants to marry Portia has to pick a casket and answer a riddle
What is mentioned about Bassanio? What significance does it have? They mention that Bassanio is the most worthy of her and that makes you feel that they will end up together
What relationship exists between Portia and Nerissa? How does it parallel that between Antonio and Bassanio? Portia and Nerissa are like sisters and they do everything for each other and with each other just like Antonio and Bassanio
List at least four qualities that have been revealed of Portia and cite an example to prove each quality. real: isn’t looking forward to marrying whoever picks the casket strong-headed:honest: lets you know how she feelswhiny and critical: feels like world is against her
What topic are Shylock and Bassanio discussing? If Shylock will give Bassanio a 3000 ducats (loan) for his journey
What is Shylock’s attitude? Skeptical to give them the money; kind of creepy
What does Shylock mean in describing Antonio as a “good” man? He thinks Antonio will be good at paying back the money
Did Shylock accept the invitation to dinner? Why/why not? He doesn’t eat with them because of his Jewish beliefs and they are planning on eating pig
What is Shylock’s attitude towards Antonio? Shylock doesn’t like him
What biblical study does Shylock use to discuss charging interest? What is his motive? He uses Jacob and he tells the story to show trickery and that it’s okay to charge interest.
According to Shylock, how does Antonio treat him? he treats Shylock terribly. he spits on him and looks down on him
What offer does Shylock make Antonio?
Does Bassanio trust Shylock? Does Antonio? Why or why not? no; Antonio isn’t worried because his ships are coming in

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