Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 1 Summary and Question Answers

Study Material

Act 3 Scene 1 Summary Merchant of Venice

Students should read the Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 1 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 3 Scene 1 Summary


As if in response of the ‘true love’ just heralded in Belmont, this scene brings out true hate – Christian for Jew, Jew for Christian in Venice. For most of Act 3, the play will alternate between these two emotional driving forces, each with its attendant, hazards and with a mounting sense of crisis. Salarino and Salanio are talking about the heavy loss of Antonio’s ships. Then Shylock enters and through them the audience recognizes the comic and pathetic aspect of Shylock’s state of mind along with burning hatred for Christians, especially Antonio.

1. There is the mythological reference to the parable of the prodigal son.
2. Synagogue is the Jewish house of prayer.

Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 1 Summary Questions and Answers

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

Yet it lives there unchecked that Antonio hath ship of rich lading wracked on the narrow seas the Goodwins I think they call the place, a very dangerous flat, and fatal, where the carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried as they say if my gossip report be an honest woman of her word.

Ques. What is the meaning of ‘yet it lives there unchecked’.
Ans. It means still no one denies the report.

Ques. What does Salerio mean by the word ‘Goodwins’?
Ans. Salerio means by the word Goodwins, a sandbank in the English Channel.

Ques. Why is that place fatal?
Ans. The place is fatal for the ships which pass through English Channel because the sandbanks wreck the ships.

Ques. Why are they worried?
Ans. They are Antonio’s friends, they are worried about his loss and their greatest worry is Antonio’s bond. They know if Antonio is unable to pay the amount by the given date, Shylock will take revenge and his pound of flesh.

Ques. What does Salanio say about Salerio’s news report?
Ans. Just after Salerio’s speech. Salanio says that it is his heartfelt wish that Salerio’s report may prove to be totally false.

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

    There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a prodigal
    Who dare scarce show his head on the Realto, a beggar
    That was used to come so smug upon the mart, let him
    Look at his bond, he was wont to call me a userer,
    Let him look at his bond; he was wont to lend money
    for a Christian courtesy; let him look at his bond.

    Why I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take his flesh. What’s that good for.

Ques. What is meant by a ‘bankrupt’ as well as a ‘prodigal’? Why has the man gone bankrupt? Why is he called
a prodigal?
Ans. Bankrupt is a person who has officially declared not to have the money to pay his debts.
Prodigal is a person who uses time or money in a wasteful way.
Here the man is Antonio, who is called bankrupt because all his ships laden with rich cargo are lost at sea.
He is called prodigal because he used his money to lend the needy without any interest or profit. This is Shylock’s hatred which is revealed in his words.

Ques. What is known as ‘Realto’? Why was the man said to go ‘so smug upon the mart’?
Realto was the exchange market.
Ans. The man despised the speaker and according to the speaker before becoming bankrupt this man was very conscious of his own smartness.

(ii) What does the speaker mean by ‘another bad match’?
Ans. Another bad match means another bad bargain as if his daughter was just a bargain, because his daughter had eloped taking away all his Jewels and money. Now Antonio has lost his money and won’t be able to pay Shylock. Hence, he is another bad match according to Shylock.

Ques. How did the ‘bankrupt’ cause loss to Shylock in Venice?
Ans. The ‘bankrupt’ used to lend money without taking interest while Shylock lent money with heavy interest. So, the bankrupt was popular in Venice while Shylock was despised for his greed and mercilessness. Moreover, Shylock’s business also suffered because of Antonio’s generosity.

Ques. When Salerio says that Shylock would not take the bankrupt’s flesh as human flesh was of no use, what is Shylock’s reply?
Ans. When Salerio referring to the bond signed by that person, says that flesh of a human was of no use and Shylock will not take it, Shylock replies that it can be used as bait. This answer shows Shylock’s intense hatred for the above mentioned man.

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

Out upon her, thou tortures’t me, Tubal: it was my turquoise: I had it of Leah when I was a bachelor: I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys.

But Antonio is certainly undone.

Nay that is true, that’s very true, go Tubal, fee me an officer, bespeak him a fortnight before. I will have the heart of him, if he forfeit, for, were he out of Venice, I can make what merchandise I will. go, Tubal, and meet me at our synagogue; go, good Tubal, at our synagogue, Tubal.

Ques. Who is Tubal? How is he torturing Shylock?
Ans. Tubal is a Jew and one of Shylock’s friends.

Tubal has just told him that Jessica, his daughter gave a ring to one of Antony’s creditors for a monkey. This news is a torture for Shylock that his daughter is wasting jewels for a petty monkey.

Ques. Why does Tubal say that Antonio is undone? What makes him certain of this fact?
Ans. Tubal says that he had talked with one of the sailors who escaped the wrecked ship of Antonio. Therefore, he says that Antonio is ruined.
His conversation with the sailor makes him certain of this fact.

Ques. What is Shylock’s reaction on hearing about Antonio’s misfortune? How is he going to punish Antonio? What would he gain by his revengeful action?
Ans. Shylock is overjoyed when he hears about Antonio’s misfortune. He is going to punish Antonio by taking a pound of flesh nearest his heart. In other words, he is going to end Antonio’s life.
By this action, he will fulfill two wishes. First, he will take revenge from Antonio by taking his life. The second wish will be fulfilled in a way that when Antonio dies, Shylock will be free to lend money on high interest and fulfill his wish to accumulate as much money as possible.

Ques. Give the meaning of – a) A wilderness of monkeys b) I can make what merchandise I will
Ans. a) A jungle full of monkeys
b) I can run my business as I like

Ques. Where does Shylock ask Tubal to come? what is that place called?
Ans. Shylock asks Tubal to come to Synagogue.
It is a place of worship for Jews.

Ques. In what way, by the end of the scene does Shylock convince the audience that his attack on Antonio is
without mercy?
Ans. When Tubal informs Shylock that Antonio is ruined because his ships are wrecked and he has become bankrupt, Shylock’s is very happy. He says that he will have Antonio’s heart. This he means literally because in the bond also he had inserted the clause that in case of forfeiture he will have a pound of Antonio’s flesh nearest to his heart. His joy, his hatred for Antonio and that particular clause convince the audience that his attack on Antonio is without mercy and he never intended to show any mercy.

Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 1 Summary