The Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 8 ICSE Questions and Answers

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

Salarino : He came too late, the ship was under sail:
But there the Duke was given to understand
That in a gondola were seen together
Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica:
Besides , Antonio certified the duke
They were not with Bassanio in his ship.

(i) Where is Salarino at the present time and who accompanies him? What are they discussing?

Answer : Salarino is on a street in Venice. He is accompanied by his friend, Salanio. They are discussing the matter of Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, eloping with Lorenzo.

(ii) Who had arrived late? In what context were these words spoken?

Answer : Shylock and the Duke had arrived late. These words were spoken after Shylock learned that his daughter had eloped with Lorenzo. He had come to search for them on Bassanio’s ship. But he was late and the ship had already set sail.

(iii) Who are Jessica and Lorenzo? Why did they elope?

Answer : Jessica is the daughter of Shylock and Lorenzo is her lover with whom she has eloped. They eloped because Shylock , a Jew, would never allow his daughter to marry a Christian.

(iv) Why was Bassanio’s ship searched?

Answer : Shylock had been deceived by his own daughter who had eloped with a Christian, as Shylock was against their relationship. She had also taken his money and jewels while running away. He was of the opinion that Bassanio and others had helped them to elope and they had used Bassanio’s ship to sail to Belmont. That’s why he came to search for them on the ship.

(v) What was assured to the Duke?

Answer : The Duke was called by Shylock to investigate into the matter after Shylock’s daughter eloped with Lorenzo, who was a friend of Bassanio. Shylock thought that they were on Bassanio’s ship, but that was not true. However, the Duke was told that they were not on a ship but were seen on a gondola. Moreover, Antonio also assured the Duke that they were not present on Bassanio’s ship.

Question 2 : Read the extract given below and answer the questions that follow.

“Be merry , and employ your chiefest thoughts
To courtship and such fair ostents of love
As shall conveniently become you there:”
And even there, his eye being bid with tears,
Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,

(i) Who is narrating this to whom? Where is the scene set? What are they talking about?

Answer : The extract is being narrated by Salarino to Salanio. They are present on a street in Venice. Salarino is telling Salanio about the parting moments of Bassanio and Antonio when Bassanio was leaving for Belmont to press his suit to Portia.

(ii) Whom is the speaker asking to be merry? Why should the listener be merry?

Answer : Antonio is asking Bassanio to be merry. Antonio told him to be merry and enjoy his courtship with Portia instead of clouding his thoughts about business matters in Venice.

(iii) Comment on the relationship shared by the speaker and the listener.

Answer : Antonio and Bassanio were very close friends. They shared a very strong bond. They could take any risk to help each other. Antonio could not bear the pain of Bassanio’s departure, even though it was for a short period of time. It was too much to take for him and he had tears in his eyes.

(iv) What had the listener said that made the speaker say these lines?

Answer : Bassanio was leaving for Belmont where his beloved lived. He was going there to press his case to marry her. However, he said that he would return to Antonio as soon as possible. Although , Antonio wanted him to enjoy his courting with Portia and take his own time.

(v) By whom were the first three lines of the above extract spoken actually? In what context were these lines said? What is the mood of the speaker at this time?

Answer : These three lines were actually spoken by Antonio to Bassanio and were later narrated to Salanio by Slaraio . Antonio said these words when he was bidding goodbye to Bassanio who was leaving for Belmont. Antonio grew sad at his departure and had tears in his eyes.