The Merchant of Venice Act 4 Scene 2 ICSE Questions and Answers

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

Portia :  Inquire the Jew’s house out, give him his deed
And let him sign it: we’ll away to-night
And be a day before our husbands home:
This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.

(i) To whom is Portia talking? Where are they at this time? Who are they searching for?

Answer : Portia is talking to Nerissa and they are on a street in Venice. They are searching for Shylock’s house. They want him to sign the deed that was decided in the court earlier.

(ii) Who is the Jew mentioned in the extract? What has happened to him?

Answer : The Jew mentioned in the extract is Shylock. He had lost his case against Antonio. Moreover, the charges were brought against him and he was found guilty. He had to accept Christianity and was going to lose all his estate.

(iii) Why does Portia want to return to her home before her husband?

Answer : Portia and Nerissa had disguised themselves as men and had come to Venice in order to help Antonio in this case against the wily Shylock. Their husbands were totally unware of these happenings. Hence, Portia wanted to reach home before her husband so that she could surprise him.

(iv) Why is Portia saying that the deed will be ‘well welcome to Lorenzo’?

Answer : Lorenzo, Shylock’s son-in-law, was in Belmont and did not know anything about the hearing of the court. Portia had been able to prove Shylock guilty and his estate was now to be transferred to Lorenzo and his wife Jessica. Therefore, she said it would be surprise for him.

(v) Gratiano comes and gives something to Portia right after this. What does he give her? Who has sent the gift?  Why?

Answer : Earlier, after the case was won by Portia and Antonio’s life was saved, the Duke had told them to award the young lawyer and his clerk. Portia in disguise of the lawyer, had asked for Bassanio’s ring which she had given him at the time of their wedding. Bassanio had refused to comply but Antonio persuaded him to part with the ring. Gratiano had brought the right to Portia.