Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 6 Summary

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 6 Summary

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 6 Summary, Merchant of Venice Workbook Answers

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 6 Summary

Setting : Venice
Characters : Gratiano, Salarino, Lorenzo, Jessica.

Wearing masks, Gratiano and Salarino wait in a street for Lorenzo who is late. They feel that it is strange on the part of Lorenzo to be late as all lovers reach before time to honour their commitments to their beloveds.

Gratiano remarks that one does not have much appetite after having one’s meal as a horse does not have as much energy after the journey as he has before. Similarly a ship loses its magnificence after it has completed its voyage. Gratiano gives these illustrations to prove that the eagerness of a husband for his wife is not as keen as that of a lover for his beloved.

Lorenzo arrives and apologizes for being late. He assures them that he, too, would wait for them whenever the opportunity arose. They reach near Shy lock’s house and find Jessica in the balcony. She tells Lorenzo that she feels shy in boy’s clothes. She asks Lorenzo to hold the bag containing gold coins and jewels. When Lorenzo tells her that she is to be his torch-bearer in the masquerade, she feels embarrassed because a torch-bearer is exposed to light.

Lorenzo tells Gratiano that they both are faithful and sincere to each other. At that moment Antonio arrives there and accuses Gratiano for being late at the dinner. Antonio tells them that there will be no masquerade because they are very late. Moreover the wind is favourable and Bassanio is eager to sail off. Gratiano does not get disappointed because he, too, will sail off from Venice.

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 6 Critical Commentary

The story of the sub-plot has moved further. Jessica is ready to elope with Lorenzo. Bassanio’s ship is ready to move. Lorenzo and Jessica, it becomes clear later, go to Belmont on their own. They do not go along with Bassanio in his ship. Had they done this foolish act, they would have been caught as Shylock gets Bassanio’s ship searched on the Duke’s order. Now we find how the sub-plot is being linked with the main-plot.

Significance of the Scene

  1. The events of this scene take place on the same evening as those of scenes 4 and 5. The time is 9 pm.
  2. Lorenzo and Jessica’s elopement is frightening. Shylock becomes a real victim.
  3. The Christians are blind to what they are doing to Shylock.

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 6 Glossary

Lines 1-25
pen-house : shelter
out-devels his : late-past the appointed
hour : hour
holds : applies
untread : retrace
younker : smart boy
prodigal : spendthrift
scarfed : with flags
baggar’d : made poor
strumpet : harlot
abode : wait

Lines 26-50
albeit : although
exchange : changed dress
Cupid : god of love
obscured : hidden
garnish : dress

Lines 51-70
beshrew : curse
mates : companions
fie : shame
presently : soon

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