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The Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 4 Summary Workbook Answers

The Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 4 Summary

The subplot further develops in this scene. We see how Jessica and Lorenzo plans to elope. Bassanio’s friends are making arrangements for a celebration, a masquerade dinner party. Lorenzo suggests that they should ‘slink away1 by supper time and meet at his residence to disguise themselves.

They also have to arrange for the torch bearers for the masque. While they are talking, Launcelot enters and hands over Jessica’s letter to Lorenzo. Launcelot is in a hurry as Bassanio had told him to give the invitation for dinner to Shylock. Lorenzo gives the clown some money and sends a message to Jessica with him.

Lorenzo shares his secret elopement plans with Gratiano. Jessica has informed him that she’ll leave her father’s house that night, dressed as a page. She’ll carry some money and jewels from the house. Lorenzo decides that he’ll be their torch bearer. Gratiano is delighted to hear about the plan and offers to help them in any manner he can.

The Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 4 Summary Word Meanings

  1. slink away – slip away
  2. disguise – dress as someone or something else to hide own identity
  3. preparation – arrangement
  4. spoke us yet – provided us with
  5. vile – disgusting
  6. quaintly order’d – done with style
  7. furnish us – be ready
  8. seem to signify – inform you
  9. know the hand – recognize the handwriting
  10. by your leave – with your permission
  11. bid – invite
  12. masque – a procession in which the participants wear masks
  13. some hour hence – in an hour
  14. furnished – supplied
  15. page’s suit – uniform of a boy servant to a person of high rank
  16. foot – path
  17. cross her foot – come in her way
  18. issue – offspring
  19. faithless – one who doesn’t believe in Christianity
  20. peruse – study.

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

1. Lorenzo :
I must needs tell thee all. She hath directed
How I shall take her from her father’s house;
What gold and jewels she is furnish’d with;
What page’s suit she hath in readiness.
If e’er the Jew her father come to heaven,
It will be for his gentle dauther’s sake;
And never dare misfortune cross herfoot,
Unless she do it under this excuse,
That she is issue to a faithless Jew.
Come, go with me : peruse this as thou goest.
Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer.

Question 1.
Where is Lorenzo now? Who else is with him? What are they preparing for?
Lorenzo is on the street outside the house of Shylock. Gratiano is with him. They are preparing for a masque, as they are going to celebrate that night at Bassanio’s masquerade dinner party.

Question 2.
What is a masque? What have they not arranged, so far?
A masque is a procession in which all the guests participate in disguise, covering their faces with masks. They have not been able to arrange for the torch bearers for the masque.

Question 3.
What does Lorenzo want to inform Gratiano? Explain in detail.
Lorenzo wants to inform Gratiano about the plan of eloping with Jessica. Jessica has informed him through the letter that how he should take her from her father’s house, what gold and jewels, she would be taking, and about the dress of the page she would be wearing.

Question 4.
Who is the ‘Jew, her father’? On what condition can he go to heaven?
The ‘Jew, her father’ is Shylock. According to Lorenzo, it is only the fact that gentle and loving Jessica is his daughter, who can work as a passport for Shylock to go to heaven.

Question 5.
For what reason can misfortune ‘cross her foot’? Explain ’faithless Jew’.
Lorenzo prays that no misfortune should cross the way of Jessica. If it happens, it’ll be only because of the fault, that her father is a faithless Jew which means a non-believer; one who doesn’t believe in Christianity.

Question 6.
What decision does Lorenzo make at the end of the scene? What does he ask Gratiano to peruse as they go?
Lorenzo decides that Jessica will be dressed as a page, and he will be their torchbearer for the masque. He asks Gratiano to read the message sent by Jessica.