Merchant Of Venice Act 2 Scene 3 Summary

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 3 Summary

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 3 Summary, Merchant of Venice Workbook Answers

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 3 Summary

Setting : Venice
Characters : Launcelot, Jessica

In this scene, Launcelot comes to bid farewell to Shylock’s daughter Jessica because he is going to leave his job with Shylock. Jessica feels sad that Launcelot is going to quit. She knows that her father’s house is a veritable hell for her. It was Launcelot who used to make her happy by his humorous and witty remarks. Thus his departure makes her unhappy.

Jessica gives some money to him and asks him to deliver a letter to Lorenzo. Launcelot sheds a few drops of tears and praises Jessica for her sweet and kind nature. He says that he is sure that someday some Christian young man would kidnap her. After Launcelot’s exit, Jessica says to herself that she is ashamed of being the daughter of a man like Shylock. She decides to run away with Lorenzo, marry him and become a Christian.

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 3 Critical Commentary

This scene diverts our attention from the main story that concerns Bassanio and Portia. It deals with the subplot of the story, i.e. the love story of Lorenzo and Shylock’s daughter Jessica.

Jessica in her remarks about her father throws sufficient light on the character of her father. She calls Shylock’s house ‘a veritable hell’. The fact that she wants to run away with Lorenzo proves that she is extremely unhappy in her own father’s house. Shakespeare wants to convey that Shylock is not even a kind or beloved father.

Significance of the Scene

  1. It provides a good deal of information about Shylock’s nature, his home and his tyrannical attitude towards his daughter Jessica.
  2. It also reveals Jessica’s love for a Christian.
  3. It prepares the ground for Jessica’s elopement.

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 3 Glossary

Lines 1-20
merry : amusing
rob : take away
taste of : a little
exhibit : (here) ‘inhibit’ (check)
pagan : non-believer
heinous : deadly

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