Character Sketch of Launcelot Gobbo in Merchant of Venice

Launcelot Gobbo Merchant of Venice | Merchant of Venice Characters Launcelot Gobbo

Character Sketch of Launcelot Gobbo in Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice Workbook Answers


  • a true jester, provides comic relief
  • a link between the Bond and the Casket stories
  • full of amusing jokes
  • the droll use of language—malapropisms
  • liked by one and all

Launcelot Gobbo – A True Jester
Launcelot Gobbo is the true jester who plays the role of the fool—one who is wise but pretends to be a fool. His main role in the play is to provide comic relief in a bitter atmosphere.

Launcelot Gobbo – A Link in Two Stories
Launcelot Gobbo is a link between the Bond story and the Casket story. He moves from the service of Shylock to that of Bassanio, and from Venice to Belmont. It is he who helps us to understand the working of the Shylock household and the conditions in which Jessica has grown up. He is also an essential link in the Lorenzo-Jessica elopement. He carries secret message between the two lovers.

Launcelot Gobbo – Full of Jokes
Launcelot Gobbo is full of amusing jokes and droll use of the language. His wit consists of what are called malapropisms (long words misused through ignorance of real meaning). For example, he uses “reproach” in place of “approach” while addressing Shylock :
“I beseech you, sir, go: my young master doth expect your reproach”.
Such errors in his speech are countless. They may be deliberate as well, as they cause a lot of amusement.

Launcelot Gobbo – Liked by One and All
For all his verbal blunders, he is liked by almost all the characters in the play. Jessica finds in him a good support and feels sorrowful at his quitting job at her father’s place. He, too, sheds tears at the moment. Even Shylock who blames him for over-eating and doing very little work admits that, despite these faults, he is “kind enough”.

Leave a Comment