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The Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 6 Summary Workbook Answers

The Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 6 Summary

The elopement of Lorenzo and Jessica is the main event that takes place in this scene. Gratiano and Salerio are waiting for Lorenzo outside Shylock’s house. Lorenzo is late and the friends are surprised as normally lovers reach before time. They also remark that mostly lovers keep their appointment in time as long as they are engaged, but once they marry all promises are forgotten. Lorenzo comes at this time and apologizes for being late.

He calls Jessica who appears above, dressed as a boy. She throws down a casket full of money and Jewels. Jessica is ashamed of stealing money as well as her disguise. But she consoles herself by saying that love is blind and lovers sire unaware of the foolish things they do.

Lorenzo tells Jessica that she’s going to be his torch bearer. The idea of holding a light to her may expose her identity. After being reassured, she goes back to the house to lock the doors and fetch more ducats. Lorenzo tells Gratiano that Jessica is the most faithful and loving lady.

When she comes down, the lovers leave with Salerio.Gratiano meets Antonio who has been looking for him. Antonio informs him that Bassanio’s party has been cancelled as the wind has changed and the time is right to set sail for Belmont. Gratiano is delighted, as he is eager to leave for Belmont.

The Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 6 Summary Word Meanings

  1. penthouse – porch
  2. make stand – wait, marvel wonder
  3. out-dwells his hour – late
  4. Venus – goddess of love who rides in a chariot drawn by pigeons
  5. wont – likely to
  6. unforfeited – unbrohen
  7. ever-holds – always true
  8. untread again – retrace his steps
  9. tedious measures – boring steps
  10. unabated fire – undiminished spirit or enthusiasm
  11. younger – a youngster
  12. scarfed bark – ship decorated with flags and bunting
  13. strumpet wind – uncontrolled wind
  14. over-weathered
  15. ribs – storm beaten sides
  16. ragged – torn
  17. abode – delay
  18. albeit – although
  19. tongue – voice
  20. pains – troubles
  21. exchange – change of clothes
  22. pretty follies – small acts of foolishness
  23. Cupid – god of Love
  24. hold a candle to – hold up a light to reveal
  25. shames – shameful dress
  26. sooth – indeed
  27. obscur’d – hidden
  28. garnish – costume
  29. play the runaway – slipping away
  30. gild – adorn with gold
  31. beshrew me – curse me
  32. constant soul – loyal heart
  33. Fie – shame.

The Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 6 Summary Questions and Answers

1. Gratiano:
That ever holds : who riseth from afeast
With that keen appetite that he sits down ?
Where is the horse that doth untread again
His tedious measures with the unhated fire

That he did pace them first ? All things that are,
Are with more spirit chased than enjoy’d.
How like a younger or a prodigal
The scarfed bark puts from her native bay,
Hugg’d and embraced by the strumpet wind !
How like the prodigal doth she return.
With over-weather’d ribs and ragged sails.
Lean, rent, and beggar’d by the strumpet wind !

Question 1.
To which comment does Gratiano say, ‘That ever holds’? What does it mean?
That ever holds means that Gratiano is agreeing with whatever was said before. Salerio had said mostly, lovers are in a greater hurry than the wings of Venus’ pigeons to keep their engagement, than their marriage promises.

Question 2.
Explain, ‘All things that are with more spirit chased than enjoyed’. Which two examples does the speaker give to prove his point?
This means that there is more pleasure in pursuit than enjoyment. The speaker first says that no one gets up from the dinner table with the same hunger as he sat down to dine. Then he takes the example of a horse, which cannot retrace his steps with the same enthusiasm as he had earlier.

Question 3.
Explain the meaning of scarfed bark and strumpet wind. What does the want on wind do?
Scarfed bark is the ship decorated with flags at the outset of a journey. Strumpet wind is uncontrolled wind. The strumpet wind in its fury blows and pushes about the ship, making it look like an impoverished thing.

Question 4
Give the meaning of:
‘How like a younger or a prodigal
The scarfed bark puts from her native bay,
Hugg’d and embraced by the strumpet wind!’
The meaning is that when the ship starts its journey, it is like a young man dressed in all finery, hale and hearty.
But after it is tossed about by the harlot wind, it is battered and torn, more like a spendthrift, returning exhausted like a beggar.

Question 5.
Who comes just after this extract? What does he say to his Mends?
Lorenzo comes just after this and apologizes to his friends for making them wait. It was some urgent business, which made him late. He promises to wait for his friends in the same way when they go to steal their wives.

2. Jessica :
What! must I hold a candle to my shames ?
They in themselves, good sooth, are too too light.
Why, ’tis an office of discovery, love,
And I should be obscur’d.

Question 1.
Bring out the context of the extract.
The scene takes place In the street outside Shylock’s house. Lorenzo, with his friends, are waiting for Jessica to join them. Jessica, dressed as a boy throws at Lorenzo, a casket full of money and jewels. She is ashamed of her disguise and when Lorenzo tells her that she is going to be the torch bearer, she is embarrassed. She tells him that it is a torch bearer’s duty to light up and reveal everything whereas she has to hide her identity to elope.

Question 2.
Explain, ‘must I hold a candle to my shames? What does this show of her character’?
Jessica asks whether she should hold a light to her boyish dresses that fills her with shame as she is masquerading. For her the idea of holding a light is frightening which could expose her identity. She is modest and honest. It’s her love that makes her adopt this disguise.

Question 3.
Explain the last two lines of the extract.
The last two lines means, that holding up the torch is the duty of a torch bearer. But if she does so, she’ll be revealing her identity, which she is supposed to conceal.

Question 4.
How does Lorenzo reassure Jessica? Earlier how had Lorenzo summarized his love for Jessica?
Lorenzo tells Jessica that she is hiding in the charming get up of a boy. She doesn’t have to worry about getting detected. He had said that Jessica was wise, fair and faithful and he loved her heartily. She would always be placed in his loyal heart.

Question 5.
What information does Antonio give at the end of the scene? How does Gratiano react to this?
Antonio at the end of the scene informs Gratiano that Bassanio’s party has been called off. Since the wind is blowing in favourable direction and the time is right to set sail for Belmont, both are eager to get on board to sail off from Venice to the promising and romantic Belmont.