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The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare


Study Questions & Essay Topics

Suggestions for Further Reading

1. What reason does Antonio give for being sad in the opening scene of the play?

2. From what character flaw does Bassanio believe Gratiano suffers?

3. The caskets that Portia’s suitors must pick from are made of what materials?

4. Which of the following is not a reason Shylock gives for hating Antonio?

5. How does Shylock initially describe his demand for a pound of flesh to Bassanio and Antonio?

6. Why does the prince of Morocco fear that Portia will dislike him?

7. Whom does Bassanio agree to bring with him to Belmont?

8. What act does Jessica believe will solve the misery of life with Shylock?

9. According to Lorenzo’s plan, how will Jessica escape from her father’s house?

10. How does Shylock react to losing Launcelot as a servant?

11. How does Portia react to the prince of Morocco’s failure as a suitor?

12. Who loses the opportunity to marry Portia by choosing the silver casket?

13. According to Tubal’s report, for what did Jessica trade Shylock’s most precious ring?

14. What course of action does Portia suggest when she learns that Shylock wishes to collect his pound of flesh?

15. Where does Portia instruct her servant Balthasar to hurry?

16. What complaint does Launcelot make regarding the conversion of the Jews?

17. In court, how does Antonio react to Shylock’s insistence on collecting his pound of flesh?

18. Who enters the court disguised as a young doctor of Law named Balthasar?

19. What loophole in Shylock’s bond allows Portia to stop him from taking a pound of Antonio’s flesh?

20. How is Shylock punished for seeking to take Antonio’s life?

21. What words does Shylock utter after accepting the court’s sentence?

22. What does Bassanio offer the young law clerk who saves Antonio?

23. What does Lorenzo order when he learns that Portia is on her way to Belmont?

24. What does Portia vow to do when she learns that Bassanio no longer has the ring she gave him?

25. What news does Antonio receive at the play’s end?

More Help

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How does Act I Scene I set mood of the play 'The Merchant of Venice' throughout?

by Shehanaz, May 25, 2013

-The moon shines bright: in ‘such a night’ as thus.
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees.
And they did make no noise.-

It is a genre, in which Shakespeare is a master. For the other great comedy of the world’s literature, the comedy of Moliere or Ben Jonson, is different in kind to his. The play, ‘The Merchant of Venice’, resolves itself purely into a simple form. It illustrates the clash between the emotional and the intellectual characters, the man of heart and the man of brain. The man of heart, Anto... Read more


181 out of 216 people found this helpful

plz sum1 ans dis

by JuZ2StuDy, April 22, 2014

What was the circumstance which lead to the signing of the fatal bond by Antonio in merchant of venice


19 out of 29 people found this helpful

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