Merchant of Venice Workbook Answers Act 4 Scene 1

Merchant of Venice Workbook Answers Act 4 Scene 1

Merchant of Venice Workbook Answers Act 4 Scene 1 Questions and Answers, Passage Based Questions.

Merchant of Venice Act 4 Scene 1 Workbook Questions and Answers

Question 1.
‘If you deny it, let the danger light
Upon your charter and your city’s freedom!’ (Lines: 38-39)
What does Shylock remind the Duke ? What does he want ?
Shylock reminds the Duke that he cannot go against the law in defending a Christian because he is legally right. He wants him to help him in getting the penalty stated in his bond.

Question 2.
‘Do all men kill the things they do not love?’ (Line: 64)
Who is being addressed by Bassanio ? How is he answered ?
Bassanio is addressing Shylock in the Trial Scene. When he asks Shylock if all men kill or destroy the objects of their hatred, Shylock asks him to tell who would not like the end of a thing he hates.

Question 3.
‘Let them be free! Marry them to your heirs !
Why sweat they under burthens ?’ (Lines : 92-93)
In which circumstances does Shylock utter these words ? What advice does he give to the Duke and other Christians ?
Shylock utters these words when the Duke asks him to show mercy to Antonio. In response, he asks the Duke and other Christians to free their slaves, treat them better and allow them to marry their relatives.

Question 4.
‘Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh ‘ Jew’ , (Line : 120)
On what occasion is this line spoken ? What is its significance ?
This line is spoken by Gratiano in a bitter mood on seeing Shylock sharpening his knife on the sole of his shoe. It reveals that Christians feel that Shylock has no human soul in denying mercy to a fellow Christian, and that he is as stone-hearted as the devil himself.

Question 5.
‘The quality of mercy is not strained’. (Line : 181)
How does Portia explain to Shylock the necessity of showing mercy ?
Portia tells Shylock that as we expect God to be merciful to us, it is necessary for us to be merciful to our fellow human beings. If we cannot be merciful, how can we expect God to forgive our sins and be merciful ?

Question 6.
‘Tarry a little, there is something else,
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood’. (Lines : 301-302)
What makes Portia stop Shylock ? How does she turn the tables on the Jew ?
Shylock’s advancing towards Antonio with his knife makes Portia stop him from doing the evil deed. She asks him to cut the flesh without shedding blood, as his bond does not allow him even a single drop of blood, which is impossible. This is how she turns the tables on the Jew.

Question 7.
‘A halter gratis, nothing else, for God’s sake!’ (Line : 375)
Who speaks this line, and when ? What does this reveal about the speaker’s mood ?
This line is spoken by Gratiano when Portia asks Antonio what mercy he can show to the defeated Jew. Gratiano, in a sarcastic mood, says that he can supply him a rope free of cost to hang himself.

Question 8.
What upsets Gratiano on seeing Shylock sharpeing his knife ? How does he react ?
Gratiano on seeing Shylock sharpening his knife is greatly upset as it indicates that Antonio’s life is really in danger. He feels that Shylock is as cruel as an executioner, and remarks that he tends to believe in Pythagorian doctine of transmigration of souls. According to him, the soul of wolf has entered Shylock’s body.

Question 9.
What makes Shylock reject all appeals of mercy ? What does it show ?
Shylock turns down the Duke’s appeal to be merciful to Antonio. Then he ignores Bassanio’s offer of ten times the money he has lent. He rejects Portia’s appeal for mercy. It is so because he is adamant in seeking revenge on Antonio for all the injustice done to him and his race. It shows how one can be blind in revenge.

Question 10.
Portia becomes as adamant and heartless as Shylock in the trial scene. How ?
Portia shows no mercy to Shylock. She puts his life at the mercy of the Duke and declares that half of his property will be awarded to the victim (Antonio). Thus, she stoops to the level of Shylock. She should have let Shylock go with or without his principal amount he gave to Antonio.

Question 11.
‘This ring, good sir, it is a trifle,
I will not shame myself to give you this’. (Lines : 426-427)
When does Bassanio utter these lines ? Why is he reluctant to part with his ring ?
Bassanio utters these lines when Portia (in male disguise) insists on having only his wedding ring as a reward. He is reluctant to give the ring as he has promised to Portia never to part with the ring in his lifetime.

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 1 Workbook Questions and Answers

Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

Shylock :
What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong ?
You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
Because you bought them : shall I say to you,
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ?
Why sweat they under burthens ? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours and let their palates
Be season’d with such viands ? You will answer
“The slaves are ours :” so do I answer you :
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought; ’tis mine and I will have it.

(i) What reason has Shylock given for insisting on the pound of flesh ?
Answer: Shylock says that there is no particular reason of his preference for Antonio’s flesh over three thousand ducats. As each of us has some aversion to one thing or the other, he has a definite loathing of Antonio and he wants to go on with his unprofitable suit against him.

(ii) What offer of Bassanio is turned down by Shylock ?
Answer: Bassanio offers six thousand ducats, twice the amount Antonio owes to him. Shylock turns it down instantly.

(iii) How does the Duke respond to Shylock’s insistence on the bond ?
Answer: The Duke says that each one of us asks for God’s mercy for the wrongs we do. He tells Shylock that if he shows no mercy himself he shall have no hope of receiving God’s mercy.

(iv) What is Shylock’s response to the Duke’s appeal for mercy ?
Answer: Shylock says that since he has done no wrong, no sentence can be passed on him. So he does not need God’s mercy.

(v) What argument does Shylock advance for his insisting on his pound of flesh ?
Answer: Shylock says that Christians have many slaves, and asks the Duke if they would treat them well, give them freedom and marry them to their children. He himself says that they could not do so since they have bought them. Similarly he has bought the pound of flesh from Antonio dearly and he would have it.

Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

Shylock :
Some men there are love not a gaping pig;
Some, that are mad if they behold a cat;
And others, when the bagpipe sings i’ the nose,
Cannot contain their urine: for affection,
Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood
Of what it likes or loathes. Now, for your answer:’
As there is no firm reason to be render’d,
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig;
Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
Why he, a woollen bagpipe; but of force
Must yield to such inevitable shame
As to offend, himself being offended;
So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing
I bear Antonio, that I follow thus
A losing suit against him. Are you answer’d?

(i) Who is Shylock addressing to ? What is he being asked ?
Answer: Shylock is addressing the Duke in the Trial Scene. He is asked to be lenient, moderate his demands and show mercy to Antonio.

(ii) How does he explain the case ? Is he being logical ?
Answer: He explains his allergy to Antonio by saying that each one of us is allergic to one thing or the other. The aversion to a thing or person cannot be explained. In explaining his hatred of Antonio Shylock is not logical.

(iii) ‘A losing suit against him’. Explain.
Answer: Shylock means to say that he is pursuing this case against Antonio in this manner, even though it entails a heavy loss of money. He is doing so only because of his deep-rooted antipathy to Antonio.

(iv) How does Bassanio react to Shylock’s utterance later in the scene ?
Answer: Bassanio reacts angrily and asks him whether all men kill the thing they do not like.

(v) What impression do you form of Shylock from what he says ?
Answer: It becomes clear from the way Shylock speaks that he is a hard-hearted and determined enemy. He has become blind in the pursuit of revenge, though circumstances have made him what he is.

Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

Shylock :
When it is paid according to the tenor,
It doth appear you are a worthy judge;
You know the law, your exposition
Hath been most sound; I charge you by law,
Whereof you are a well-desevring pillar,
Proceed to judgement: by my soul, I swear
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me : I stay here on my bond.

(i) On what occasion does Shylock speak these lines ? What does ‘it’ in the first line stand for ?
Answer: When Portia asks Shylock to take thrice the amount that he had loaned to Antonio and let her tear the bond, Shylock speaks these words. The word ‘it’ stands for the bond.

(ii) What had Portia just said that Shylock called her ‘a worthy judge’ ?
Answer: Portia had said that the bond was forfeited and lawfully Shylock could claim a pound of flesh to be cut off by him, nearest Antonio’s heart.

(iii) Shylock Says :
“There is no power in the tongue of man To alter me”.
What light does this throw on the character of Shylock ?
Answer: This line throws ample light on the character of Shylock. It tells us that he is obstinate, revengeful and of a firm determination. Once he resolves to do something, he cannot be persuaded to change his decision.

(iv) How does Portia turn the tables against Shylock ?
Answer: Finding Shylock extremely obstinate Portia asks him to take a pound of flesh according to the bond. But, if in cutting the flesh, he sheds even one drop of blood, his lands and goods would be confiscated by the state. Thus Shylock is defeated by his own weapon.

(v) Was Shylock happy with the judgement ? Do you think he is ‘more sinned against than sinning’ ?
Answer: Shylock was not happy with the judgement. Yes, I think Shylock is more sinned against than sinning. Shylock does conspire against the life of his arch enemy Antonio, but the way the tables are turned against him, makes us sympathise with him. One half of his property goes to Antonio and the other half goes to the treasury of Venice This is too much for him. .

Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

Bassanio :
Good cheer, Antonio! What, man, courage yet!
The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones and all,
Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.
Antonio :
I am a tainted wether of the flock,
Meetest for death: the weakest kind of fruit
Drops earliest to the ground; and so let me
You cannot better be employ’d, Bassanio,
Than to live still and write mine epitaph.

(i) Where are the speakers ? Why does Bassanio ask Antonio to be cheerful ? What do his words reveal about him ?
Answer: The speakers are in the court. Bassanio, seeing Antonio depressed and defeated, asks him to be courageous and cheerful. His words reveal his positive outlook in life. He seems to believe that one should fight to the last.

(ii) “I am a tainted wether of the flock.” Explain.
Answer: Antonio compares himself to a diseased sheep of the flock which must be killed to spare other sheep. These words reveal his defeatist attitude. He seems to have given up even before the fight has begun.

(iii) What does Antonio want Bassanio to do after his death ?
Answer: Antonio wants Bassanio to write a suitable epitaph for his tomb after his death. He knows that Bassanio who loves him is the best person for the job.

(iv) What impression do you form of Antonio from his words ?
Answer: Antonio is a pessimist. He has already accepted his defeat. He does not see any ray of hope for him. It is strange that he is so timid while his friends are still hopeful and are fighting for him.

(v) Who enters the court immediately after Antonio’s speech, and why ?
Answer: After Antonio’s brief speech, Nerissa, in male disguise, enters the court. She tells the Duke that she is coming from Doctor Bellario in Padua, and presents him a letter from him.

Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

Portia :
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.

(i) On what occasion does Portia utter these words ? What makes her beg for mercy from Shylock ?
Answer: Portia utters these words while defending Antonio in the court. She appeals for mercy in order to persuade Shylock to give up his obdurate stance. She also wants to give him one opportunity.

(ii) ‘It is twice blest’. What does Portia mean to say ?
Answer: Portia says that the quality of mercy is doubly blessed. It blesses both the parties, the giver as well as the recipient. One gets the benefit and the other gets the satisfaction of doing good.

(iii) In what sense is mercy a divine quality ?
Answer: Mercy is a divine quality in the sense that it is manifest in God himself. God shows us mercy when we seek it sincerely. Mercy is far above any other worldly quality.

(iv) How does Shylock turn down Portia’s plea for mercy ? What does he insist on ?
Answer: Shylock turns down Portia’s plea for mercy by saying that he is ready to face the consequences of his action. He insists on the penalty as specified in the bond.

(v) How does he later turn down three times the amount of loan offered by Bassanio ?
Answer: He turns down three times the amount of the loan offered by Bassanio, saying that he has sworn to have only the penalty. He asks Portia if she wants him to be guilty of betraying his pledge.

Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.

(i) Name the speaker. Why did the speaker appeal to the Jew for mercy ? Earlier who else in the play appealed for mercy ?
Answer: The speaker is Portia dressed as a doctor of laws. The speaker appealed to the Jew for mercy to diminish the force of his demand for strict justice. She added that if he still insisted on his demand of a pound of flesh, the strict court of Venice would have to pronounce a judgement against Antonio.
Earlier the Duke himself had appealed to Shylock to show mercy.

(ii) What are the three qualities of mercy which the speaker has stated just before the extract ?
Answer: The speaker has stated that mercy is shown by human beings as naturally and spontaneously as the gentle drops of rain fall from the sky above down to the ground below. Secondly, mercy is the most powerful feeling in those who have the highest authority. It suits a king more than his crown. Mercy is greater than the worldly authority which is symbolized by the sceptre which he holds. Thirdly, mercy is the essential quality of God who is the supreme power of the universe. Earthly power acquires a divine quality when a man softens the rigours of the demands of justice by showing mercy.

(iii) Explain Portia’s statement :
‘But mercy is above this sceptred sway’. How does Shylock turn down Portia’s plea for mercy ? What does he insist on ?
Answer: The line “But mercy is above this sceptred sway” means that the king’s sceptre is the emblem of his worldly power. It is the symbol of fear which kingship inspires in others. But mercy is higher and greater than the worldly authority which is symbolized by rod. Shylock turns down Portia’s plea for mercy asking her to let him face the consequences of his actions. He takes full responsibility for his action. He persists in his demand. He asks Portia to enforce the law and let him have the penalty specified in the bond which Antonio has forfeited.

(iv) What is Bassanio ready to do for Antonio in the court ? Why is Bassanio snubbed immediately by the disguised Portia ?
Answer: Bassanio is ready to pay twice the borrowed money. If that is not sufficient, he is ready to pay ten times that amount. If even this is not enough, he is ready to forfeit his hands and his heart.
Bassanio asks Portia (disguised as doctor of laws) to bend the law once and use the authority of the court to do what is morally right, to save the life of Antonio. But Portia snubs him saying that there is no power that can change the established law of Venice.

(v) Mention two prominent character traits of Shylock as highlighted through the scene from which the extract has been taken. Substantiate your answer with examples from the text.
Answer: The trial scene shows that Shylock is a revengeful and bloodthirsty man. He turns down the appeals of the Duke and Portia for mercy and insists on having a pound of flesh. He is offered ten times the amount of the borrowed money but he refuses it. He wants only revenge. Secondly, the scene shows that Shylock is firm in his resolve. He bluntly tells Portia that there is no power in the tongue of man to alter his resolve to take a pound of flesh. He says, “My deeds upon my head”. Thus he invokes the law to let him have the penalty as mentioned in the bond.

Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

Antonio :
Commend me to your honourable wife :
Tell her the process of Antonio’s end;
Say how I loved you, speak me fair in death;
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Repent but you that you shall lose your friend,
And he repents not that he pays your debt;
For if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
I’ll pay it presently with all my heart.
Bassanio :
Antonio, I am married to a wife
Which is as dear to me as life itself;
But life itself, my wife, and all the world,
Are not with me esteem’d above thy life:
I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.

(i) On what occasion does Antonio speak these lines ? What is he prepared for ?
Answer: Antonio speaks these lines after Shylock has rejected the plea for engaging a surgeon to attend to his wounds to prevent his death.

(ii) What is he prepared for ?
Answer: He seems to be prepared for his end.

(iii) What does Antonio want Bassanio to do ? How does he console him ?
Answer: Antonio wants Bassanio to remember him to his wife and tell her how he died as also about their friendship. He consoles him saying that he should not feel guilty that he is dying for his debt.

(iv) What tells you that Bassanio loves Antonio sincerely ?
Answer: Bassanio says that he is prepared to sacrifice everything of his, his life and even his wife, to save him from Shylock’s clutches. It shows his deep love for Antonio.

(v) Why is he snubbed by disguised Portia later in the scene ?
Answer: Portia (in the disguise of a male lawyer) snubs Bassanio that he is ready to sacrifice even his wife. She points out that his wife is not likely to be thankful to him if she were to hear him say this.

Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

Duke :
That thou shalt see the difference of our spirits,
I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it :
For half thy wealth, it is Antonio’s;
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may dripe unto a fine.
Ay, for the state, not for Antonio.
Shylock :
Nay, take my life an all; pardon not that :
You take my house when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house; you take my life
When you do take the means whereby I live.

(i) How does Portia turn the tables on Shylock ?
Answer: Portia asks Shylock to cut the pound of flesh from Antonio’s chest, but in so doing he should not shed even a single drop of blood, as it is not mentioned in the bond. Shylock is, thus, cornered by Portia.

(ii) What makes Shylock completely helpless ?
Answer: Portia says that according to the law, for plotting against the life of a citizen of Venice, one half of his property will go to Antonio and the other half to the state. Moreover, his own life is at the mercy of the Duke. Portia advises him to kneel to the Duke and ask for mercy.

(iii) What tells you the extreme agonised state of Shylock ?
Answer: Shylock, for whom money is everything, reveals his agony by saying that by taking away his property they are taking away the support that sustains his life.

(iv) Does Shylock accept the conditions imposed on him ? How does he leave the court ?
Answer: Shylock accepts the conditions imposed on him. He leaves the court fully dejected and defeated.

(v) What reward is demanded by Portia from Bassanio, and by Nerissa from Gratiano ? What is their purpose ?
Answer: Portia and Nerissa demand their wedding rings as gifts from Bassanio and Gratiano respectively. Since they are in male disguises, they remain unrecognized. They demand the rings only to create fun later.

Read the following extract and answer the questions that follow :

Bassanio :
There’s more depends on this than on the value.
The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
And find it out by proclamation:
Only for this, I pray you, pardon me.
Portia :
I see, sir, you are liberal in offers
You taught me first to beg; and now methinks
You teach me how a beggar should be answer’d.

(i) Where are the speakers ? What offer was made to Portia by Bassanio on winning the case ?
Answer: The speakers, Bassanio and Portia, are in the court room. Bassanio presses Portia to accept something as a token of their regard for her on winning the case.

(ii) What has Portia demanded ? Why is Bassanio reluctant ? What offer does he make ?
Answer: Portia has demanded a ring which she gave to Bassanio. Bassanio is reluctant to give it to her because of his promise not to part with the ring in his lifetime. He offers any other ring, the costliest, in its place.

(iii) Why does Portia refuse the offer ? In which mood is she ?
Answer: Portia refuses the offer saying that she has a strong desire for it. She pretends to be in an angry mood on being denied the ring after the offer of a. gift has been made to her.

(iv) ‘You teach me how a beggar should be answer’d’. Explain.
Answer: Portia pretends to be angry. She says that Bassanio has shown how a beggar should be treated. Bassanio feels himself to be in a tight spot.

(v) Does Bassanio fulfil Portia’s demand ? How ?
Answer: Yes, Bassanio fulfils Portia’s demand by giving her the ring he does not want to part with Antonio makes him give the ring greatly against his will.

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