ACT III: 1-5 Study Questions
1. Why, since it won’t result in any financial gain, does Shylock insist on the terms of his bond with Antonio?
Shylock insist on his bond with Antonio because its not about the money or even the pound of flesh, its about the disrespect towards Jews and his way of getting what he deserves, what is fair.
2. What news does Tubal bring Shylock?
Tubal tells Shylock the Antonio’s ships all have been wrecked.
3. Why does Portia want Bassanio to wait before facing the challenge of the three caskets?
Portia wants to spend time with Bassanio and she knows that if he chooses the wrong casket, then he must leave right away. She is not willing to take that risk.
4. Why does Bassanio select the lead casket?
Bassanio selects the lead casket because he doesn’t jugde a book by its cover and he thinks lead is humble.
5. What does the lead casket contain?
Inside the lead casket, there is a picture of Portia and a scroll to claim the prize.
6. What does Portia claim will occur if Bassanio gives up the ring she gives him?
Their love would be doomed and she has the right to be mad with him.
7. What does Gratiano reveal after Bassanio solves the riddle of the three caskets?
Gratiano reveals that he is also in love and getting married with Nerissa.
8. Why does Portia allow Bassanio to leave before they get married?
She allows him to leave because she understands that this is an urgent matter in helping a good friend.
9. According to Antonio, why won’t the Duke be able to intercede on his behalf?
He means that there is no point in arguing with Shylock because he won’t listen and have what he wants.
10. What does Portia decide to do at the end of Act III?
Portia decided, alongside with Nerissa, to go to Venice and try to help in any way she can.
ACT IV: 1-2 Study Questions
1. What does the Duke request of Shylock?
The Duke asks for mercy from Shylock.
2. What reason does Shylock give for his wanting the pound of Antonio’s flesh?
He wants his flesh to fish with and also because that is what is just.
3. Why does Antonio advise his friends to give up attempting to dissuade Shylock?
He uses metaphors to explain that arguing with Shylock is no use.
4. Why does Shylock believe the Duke must enforce the terms of the bond?
Shylock believes he must enforce want the bond says because that is the law on which both parties agreed on and signed upon.
5. Why does Portia, disguised as the lawyer, initially conclude that Shylock’s bond must be adhered to?
She finds a way to make Shylock’s bond go against him for his own good.
6. Although she acknowledges Shylock’s right to a pound of Antonio’s flesh, how does Portia prevent the usurer from acting on it?
She states that the bond does not grant him any blood from Antonio’s body so it would be impossible to have a pound of flesh.
7. Why is Shylock stripped of his possessions?
Shylock is stripped of his possessions because he broke the law on trying to take another citizen life.
8. Apart from the financial conditions, what does Antonio’s new arrangement demand of Shylock?
He demands that Shylock lets Jessica marry happily and allows her to convert to a Christian.
9. What does the disguised Portia demand from Bassanio for her services?
She demands his ring that she gave to him.
10. Why is Bassanio reluctant to give up the ring?
He doesn’t want to give it up because she swore to not give it up or lose it or sell it to anyone.
ACT V: 1 Study Questions
1. What message does Stephano deliver to Lorenzo and Jessica?
He says the Portia will be back soon before sun set.
2. What opinion does Lorenzo hold of men who don’t like music?
He says men who don’t enjoy music have no soul.
3. What does Portia order her household not to do?
She tells them to not mention they were gone.
4. To whom does Nerissa claim to believe Gratiano gave his ring?
She accuses him of giving it to some women.
5. What does Portia threaten when Bassanio admits he gave the ring away?
Portia threatens not to lay with him as his wife.
6. What does Portia claim she will do if she encounters the doctor to whom Bassanio gave the ring?
She says he will lay with him instead of her husband.
7. How does Antonio attempt to placate Portia?
He tries to say nice things to her.
8. What does Portia offer Bassanio to seal the new promise?
She says she slept with the doctor to get the ring back.
9. What secret does Portia reveal to the company?
Portia reveals the she was the doctor and Nerissa her helper.
10. What good news does Portia tell Antonio?
She leads him to their marriage bed.