Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 8 Summary

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 8 Summary

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 8 Summary, Merchant of Venice Workbook Answers

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 8 Summary

Setting : Venice
Characters Salarino, Salanio

Salarino and Salanio are found talking to each other. Salarino tells Salanio that Gratiano was present on Bassanio’s ship, but Lorenzo and Jessica were not there in the ship. Salarino tells Salanio that Lorenzo and Jessica went out in a pleasure boat. Salanio tells Salarino that when Shylock came to know about Jessica’s elopement with Lorenzo, he went mad with rage. He shouted, “My daughter! O my Christian ducats!”

Salarino tells Salanio that the street boys considered Shylock mad and threw stones at him. Salanio says that it will cost very dear to Antonio if he is unable to return his money on the appointed day. Salarino says that he has come to know from some Frenchman that Antonio has lost one of his rich merchant ships. Salarino asks Salanio to inform Antonio about this but he should convey this in such a manner that Antonio does not get a shock. Salanio says that Antonio is a very noble soul. Salarino then explains how Antonio took leave of Bassanio. It was a touching scene. Salarino and Salanio go to meet Antonio in order to cheer him up.

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 8 Critical Commentary

The scene shifts to Venice again and we come to know about Shylock anger over the elopement of his daughter Jessica with Lorenzo and the loss of his gold coins and jewels. It appears that the loss of gold coins has troubled him more than the elopement of his daughter. It is in this scene that we come to know that Antonio has lost one of his rich merchant ships on the sea. Antonio had hoped that he would be able to pay back Shylock’s loan on the safe arrival of this ship. Though not much is mentioned about it, it suggests possibilities of more losses in the future.

On the other hand, Shylock is mad with rage. It appears that he will take revenge upon Antonio at the first opportunity. The scene is significant because it furthers the action of the play. It also throws more light on the character of Antonio. We come to know about the affectionate nature of Antonio and his friendly love for Bassanio. It appears that Antonio may have to face the trial in the court.

Significance of the Scene

  1. It prepares us for the coming events.
  2. Rumours about Antonio’s losses are quite suggestive.
  3. We also realize Antonio’s great affection for Bassanio.

Merchant of Venice Act 2 Scene 8 Glossary

Lines 1-25
outcries : cries of protest
gondola : a long boat in Venice
amorous : loving
certified : assured
outrageous : shocking
stones upon her : stones (gems) with her day

Lines 26-50 : fixed day
reason’d : discussed
narrow seas : the English Channel
fraught : loaded
slubber : spoil
ostents : displays
wrung : shook
quicken : cheer up

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