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

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

Portia :  I pray you, tarry: pause a day or two
Before you hazard; for, in choosing wrong,
I lose your company: therefore forbear awhile.
There’s something tells me, but it is not love,
I would not lose you; and you know yourself,
Hate counsels not in such a quality.

(i) Where is Portia at this time? Whom is she talking to?

Answer : Portia is at her house in Belmont at this time. She is talking to Bassanio, her suitor.

(ii) Why is she asking the listener to ‘tarry’?

Answer : Portia is asking Bassanio to wait for some time before he goes on to choose a casket in which their fate is sealed. She fears that if Bassanio chose unwisely, she would lose his company forever. She does not want this to happen.

(iii) Why has the listener come to Portia?

Answer : The listener, Bassanio has come to Portia from Venice to ask he hand in marriage. He is present in her house because in order to win Portia, he as to win the lottery devised by her late father.

(iv) Does the listener ‘tarry’. Why/Why not?

Answer : Bassanio is unable to bear the tension of waiting. He wanted to marry with Portia but he could not do that until he won the lottery. The suspense was too much to bear for him. He wanted to get over with it as soon as possible.

(v) Portia talks about a quality that hate cannot generate. What quality is she talking about?

Answer : Portia doesn’t want Bassanio to leave her. However, if he fails to win the lottery, he will have to leave. However, Portia says that she cannot lose Bassanio and even Bassanio knows that. This feeling, as Portia says, cannot be generated by hate. It represents her deep love for Bassanio.