Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 9 Summary and Question Answers

Study Material

Act 2 Scene 9 Summary Merchant of Venice

Students should read the Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 9 Summary ICSE Class 10 notes provided below designed as per the Merchant of Venice book used in ICSE Class 10 English Books. You should refer to all notes provided here for Merchant of Venice Workbook which are really important and can help you to get better marks in ICSE Exams

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 9 Summary


In this scene, Prince of Arragon, another suitor to take the risk of the lottery of caskets, comes. He swears if he fails he will never reveal which casket it was that he chose and go back silently. He opens the silver casket and is shocked to find a fool’s head with a scroll. The inscription in the scroll is, “who chooseth me will get as much as he deserves.” To the relief of Portia another suitor, whom she did not want, fails and goes back.

A servant comes and informs her of the arrival of a young Venetian who has brought gifts and greetings. She is reminded of Bassanio and is eager to see him. 

This scene just gives a glimpse of the beginning of the end of Portia’s anxiety and the main love story of the drama.


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

Ans. Behold there stand the caskets, noble prince:
If you choose that wherein I am contained straight shall our nuptial rites be solemnized, but if you fail, without speech, my lord you must be gone from hence immediately.

Ques. Who is the prince?
Ans. The prince is the Prince of Arragon, another suitor for Portia, who has come to try his luck.

Ques. What does Portia say to him?
Ans. Portia tells him, addressing him according to his status i.e. noble prince, that if he chooses the right casket she will be immediately married to him and if he fails he will have to leave immediately without saying anything.

Ques. Which conditions in the oath Arragon explicitly keeps at the end of the scene?
Ans. He goes away immediately with his train saying to Portia, “Sweet adieu, I will keep my oath.”

Ques. What does Portia feel about the lottery of caskets?
Ans. Portia does not feel happy about this lottery of caskets. It depends totally on chance and she should marry the person who wins, whether she likes him or hates him. She is loyal to her father and will not disobey him. Therefore, she has to accept the winner.

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

    Why, then to thee, thou silver treasure-house;
    Tell me once more what title thou dost bear;
    “Who chooseth me will get as much as he deserves”.
    And well said too, for who shall go about
    to cozen fortune and be honourable
    Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume
    to wear an underserved dignity.

Ques. What does the inscription on the silver casket say?
Ans. The inscription on the silver casket says, “who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.”

Ques. Why did the words of the inscription on the silver casket appeal to Arragon?
Ans. The words of the inscription on the silver casket appealed to Arragon because he was arrogant and proud and considered himself a proper deserving candidate.

Ques. Give the meaning of – To cozen fortune and be honourable without the stamp of merits.
Ans. Arragon believes that without merit or deserving something one cannot and should not try to deceive fate. To deceive fate will be dishonorable.

Ques. How does Arragon explain further the importance of deserving before getting honoured position?
Ans. Prince Arragon believes that it is not honourable to try to get something which one does not deserve. To be deserving, in his opinion is the first condition before trying to get anything by luck.

Ques. Which casket did Arragon finally choose? what happened and what did he feel after making the choice?
Ans. Arragon opened the silver casket.
It revealed a fool’s head. He was shocked and departed immediately.

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

No more, I pray thee, I an half-a feared
Thou, wilt say anon he is some kin to thee
Thou spend’st such high day wit in praising him,
come, come Nerissa, for I long to see
Quick cupid’s post that comes so mannerly
Nerissa: Bassanio, Lord love, if they will be.

Ques. About whose arrival has the servant just told Portia?
Ans. Bassanio has reached her place. The servant has just told Portia about him.

Ques. In what mood has Portia received the message?
Ans. Portia is in a joyous and carefree mood. Those, she despised have left and he whom she remembered and liked has come. His success also depends on fate but at least she has got a respite from the long period of anxiety and despair.

Ques. Give the meaning of ‘cupid’s past’.
Ans. In Greek mythology, cupid is the God of Love. The word ‘past’ means messenger.
Cupid’s Past means messenger of God of Love.

Ques. What does Nerissa say?
Ans. Nerissa prays that the young noble man who has come may be Bassanio. She prays to God of Love that it
may be so.

Ques. What do these words tell about Nerissa?
Ans. The statement of Nerissa shows that she liked Bassanio and above all she loved Portia and wanted to see her happily married to the person whom she liked.

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 9 Summary