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

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

Antonio :  Let  him alone:
I’ll follow him no more with bootless prayers.
He seeks my life; his reason well I know:
I oft deliver’d from his forfeitures
Many that have a times made moan to me;
Therefore he hates me.

(i) Where is Antonio when he says these words? To whom is he talking? In what context were these words spoken?

Answer : Antonio was at a street in Venice when he uttered these words. He was talking Salarino. He said these words when Salarino saw that Antonio had been trying to persuade Shylock to show him some mercy but Shylock did not pay heed to his words.

(ii) Why was Antonio saying that he would not request Shylock again for mercy?

Answer : Antonio had tried to convince Shylock to show some mercy on him. Shylock wanted to have his revenge by cutting a pound of Antonio’s flesh. By Shylock was not in a mood to relent even after Antonio pleaded to him. Antonio knew that his hatred for Antonio was too much and it was no use in expecting mercy from him.

(iii) Antonio says that he knew well why his adversary was seeking his life. What reasons did he give?

Answer : Antonio knew that Shylock hated him. He told Salarino that he had many times helped Shylock’s debtors to get out of his clutches. Obviously, Shylock was not able to make a profit then. He spoiled his business which made him hate Antonio.

(iv) Did Antoni’s enemy succeed in his plan to take his life? Who saved Antonio? How?

Answer : Shylock was not able to fulfil his evil wishes. At the time of court hearing, Portia came disguised as a lawyer and turned the tables on Shylock. At the end, it was Shylock who had to play dearly for his malice.

(v) Who was seeking Antonio’s life? How did Antonio come in danger of losing his life?

Answer : Shylock was seeking Antonio’s life. Antonio had earlier signed a deed with him. Bassanio, Antonio’s best friend was in need of money and Shylock lent it to him upon Antonio’s surety. However, he failed to meet the terms. Now, Shylock was entitled to have a pound of Antonio’s flesh. Antonio knew that he would not survive such an ordeal.