The Merchant of Venice Act II

1. What does the first three lines of this scene tell us about the mental models of Shakespeare’s audience? Misconceptions (“racism”) towards people with a “dark complexion”; the prince asks people to forgo these sentiments. People during Elizabethan times would have had minimal contact with other cultures, particularly African.
2. The Prince of Morocco lists several acts he would perform to “win” (2.1.32) Portia’s love? What does this tell us about his character? – Sure of himself- Very determined- Extravagant praise of his own valour makes him seem both less well mannered and less attractive. He’s arrogant.
3. What happens to suitors who choose the wrong casket? They cannot marry anyone after Portia or talk about what casket (sworn to secrecy.)
4. What is the purpose of this scene? Why did Shakespeare include it in Act 2? It is a comedic interlude. Shakespeare frequently employs servants and members of the working class to provide slapstick interludes in both his comedies and tragedies.
5. What decision does Lancelet reach just before his father appears? Why? Consider and refer to the scene as a whole in your answer. He decides to leave the services of Shylock and become a servant of Bassanio. Lancelet, we learn, is no abandoning his post because Shylock
6. What warning does Bassanio give Gratanio when Gratanio asks if he can come with Bassanio to Belmont? Why? What is Bassanio afraid of? Gratiano asks Bassanio if he can accompany him to Belmont. Bassanio agrees on the condition that he tames his characteristically wild behavior. Gratiano promises to be on his best behaviour. Any humorous antics might derail his attempt to win Portia’s hand in marriage. “But fare you well, I have some business.” (Line 207, 208)
7. How does Jessica describe life at home? “Our house is hell” (Line 2)
8. Why does Lancelet predict that a Christian will “get” (2.3.12) Jessica? How does this reflect the mental models and attitudes of Shakespeare’s audience? RebelliousIt reflects the general sentiment of anti-Semitism and the superiority of Christianity that prevailed during Elizabeth times: Shakespeare would have exploited this cultural more to gain popular acclaim of his works. Jessica is so lovely that Lancelet can’t believe
9. In your own words describe the plan to sneak Jessica out of her father’s house. Jessica is going to grab her money (Gold and Silver Jewels), Dress up as a Pager (Male Messenger) and run away with Lorenzo.
10. Why does Shylock accept the dinner invitation even though he doesn’t want to? To be polite, he knows that he is going to be flattered take advantage of the situation.
11. How does Lancelet feel about working for Bassanio? He likes the idea of working with Bassaino because he gets away from the “Jewish devil” and he will get payed more for working with Bassaino
12. As they wait for Lorenzo to meet them, Salarino and Gratanio discuss why they think Lorenzo is running behind; what is it? What metaphors does Gratanio use in lines 9 – 20 to support his conclusion? Wants to get the chase rather than the catchDoesn’t want her anymoreDoesn’t want to get married
13. At the last second the masque is cancelled. Why? What will happen instead? It was cancelled because Bassanio’s mission with his ship had to leave early because of the direction of the wind, so Gratiano had to leave.
14. How does Jessica escape? What does she bring with her? Through the penthouse and she stuffs ducats in her clothing.
15. How does the gamble to win Portia’s hand in marriage work? What choices are presented to the potential suitors? Choose between three caskets (Gold, Silver, Lead) Can’t tell anyone else the answer or the one you chose They can’t marry anyone after PortiaDoesn’t serve Christian or any God (god) he is a pageant
16. The beginning of line 16 foreshadows that the Prince of Morocco will choose incorrectly. How does the word choice hint at this outcome? Consider your understanding of Elizabethan society in your answer. Asking a God to help pick and maybe get luck, he puts all of his choices based on “The God”.
17. Paraphrase (put in your own words) the Prince of Morocco’s reasons for why he doesn’t choose the lead or silver casket, and why he chooses the gold casket. He doesn’t choose the lead casket and the silver casket because they weren’t good enough and Portia doesn’t deserve that kind of metal. While Gold is a much more worthy metal and she deserves that, also he thinks of himself as good as Gold.
18. What was in the gold casket? What is the symbolism of this object? Consider the poem on the scroll in your answer. The Gold casket was a scroll saying (don’t be greedy, Gold is not always the best)
19. According to the report of Shylock’s reaction, what treasures did Jessica steal from her father? Jewels of Silver and Gold.
20. In your opinion, is Shylock more upset about the loss of his money or his daughter? Support your answer with specific reference to the text. Daughter maybe because he has no more family after her/ money.
21. What was Antonio’s reaction to Bassanio’s departure? He tells him to take his time wooing Portia properly, to have fun, not to worry about the loan. Antonio is sad again because he is a melancholy guy.
22. The Prince of Arragon reveals to the audience the three terms of the agreement he had to enter before allowed to choose. What are they again? Choose between three caskets (Gold, Silver, Lead) Can’t tell anyone else the answer or the one you chose They can’t marry anyone after PortiaLeave Immediately
23. Why doesn’t the Prince of Arragon choose the golden casket, as the Prince of Morocco did? Because he said only a fool full of greed would choose that one.He thinks he’s better than any other guy because he is not picking the obvious.
24. What do the Prince of Arragon’s reasonings reveal about his character? He is even more arrogant ad things he is the best.
25. What was in the silver casket? What is the symbolism of this image? Consider the poem on the scroll in your answer. (lines 69-78) A picture of a fool, medieval gestures.
26. What information does the messenger bring? What is Portia’s response to the news? A young venetian and Portia hopes it’s bassanio.

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