Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 5 Summary

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 5 Summary

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 5 Summary, Merchant of Venice Workbook Answers

Merchant of Venice Act 1 Scene 5 Summary
Merchant of Venice Act 1 Scene 5 Summary

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 5 Summary

Setting : Venice
Characters : Shylock, Jessica, Launcelot

Shylock is shouting for Jessica. He is telling Launcelot that when he goes to serve Bassanio, he will find the difference between his old master and the new master. He has been eating and drinking a lot at his house. He may not be able to do so in Bassanio’s house.

When Launcelot also calls for Jessica loudly, Shylock takes offence at it. Launcelot remarks humorously that he wanted to show that he could call for Jessica without being asked by Shylock to do so.

Jessica enters and Shylock gives the keys of the house to Jessica and tells her to keep all the doors and windows closed. He asks her to do so because he does not want the rowdy crowd in the streets to see her. He tells her that he does not want to leave her alone in the house, but he has to go to attend the dinner at Bassanio’s place merely to waste Bassanio’s money.

Launcelot, in the meanwhile, gives a hint to Jessica that Lorenzo will be coming to meet her at the appointed time when Launcelot leaves the place. Shylock tells his daughter that he is happy that Launcelot is joining the service of Bassanio. He will eat, drink and sleep there and ruin his new master. He again tells Jessica to keep the doors and windows closed because if due care is taken about things, they become secure. After Shylock leaves the house,

Jessica says to herself that if luck favours her, she will elope with Lorenzo. She will lose a father and Shylock will lose a daughter.

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 5 Critical Commentary

This scene carries forward the sub-plot of the story. Shylock leaves the house in order to have dinner with Bassanio. Jessica is left alone in the house. She gets an opportunity to elope with Lorenzo. Lorenzo and his friends are planning to bring out a masque. This masque will help Jessica to elope with Lorenzo. Jessica who is in love with Lorenzo is shown as a bold girl. On the other hand, Shylock is shown as a mean, calculating and clever character. He looks on everything with suspicion. In fact, this scene is a continuation of the last two scenes.

Significance of the Scene

  1. It prepares ground for Jessica’s elopement.
  2. It also throws light on Shylock’s suspicious and miserly nature.
  3. We learn of Launcelot’s character from Shylock’s point of view.

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 5 Glossary

Lines 1-25
gormandise : eat greedily
rend : wear out
bidding : order
bid forth : invited
loath : unwilling
a-brewing : mischief in the air
reproach : (here) ‘approach’

Lines 26-58
conspired : planned
Black Monday : Easter Monday
vile-squealing : shrill notes
fife : flute
clamber : climb up
casements : windows
varnish’d : painted
shallow foppery : foolish display
offspring : child
patch : fellow (Launcelot)
drones : idlers
hive : live
stale : old-fashioned
thrifty mind : careful person

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