The Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 3 ICSE Questions and Answers

Question 1 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

Jessica : I am sorry thou wilt leave my father so:
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,
Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.
But fare thee well; there is a duct for three:

(i) Who has robbed Jessica’s house of tediousness?

Answer : Launcelot has robbed Jessica’s house of tediousness, meaning that his presence made the house more lively and interesting. Jessica want to say that Launcelot’s leaving her house would make life at the house more miserable.

(ii) For what purpose had Jessica given a ducat to the listener?

Answer : Jessica loved Lorenzo, one of Bassanio’s friends. Launcelot had started working for Bassanio. Jessica knew that Lorenzo would come to the feast set by Bassanio that night. She wanted Launcelot to deliver a letter to him secretly and so she gave Launcelot some money.

(iii) What impression do you form about the listener from the extract?

Answer : Jessica’s comments about Launcelot say a lot about him. She says that his departure would make the house miserable. It means that Launcelot was  a fun loving character who kept the house lively. He was the clown of the house who made life at the house interesting.

(iv) Why did the listener decide to leave the house of Jessica?

Answer : Launcelot decided to leave Shylock’s house because he was not happy working for him. He despised Shylock and even called him the incarnation of a devil. He was starved at his place and said that one could count his ribs just by a touch of the fingers. On the other hand, he had heard many good things about Bassanio. So, he went to work for him.

(v) How can you say that Jessica was not happy living in her father’s house?

Answer : It is true that Jessica was not happy living under the shadow of her father, Shylock. He was an evil man. She commented that her house was full of miseries. She was planning to elope with Lorenzo. Later, on many occasions, she was seen condemning her father. Hence, it could be said that she hated living with her father.