Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 3 Summary

Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 3 Summary

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

Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 3 Summary

Setting : Venice
Characters : Shylock, Antonio, Salarino

In this scene, Shylock warns the jailor to keep an eye on Antonio lest he should escape. Shylock blames the jailor for showing leniency to Antonio and allowing him to come out of the prison. Antonio tries to make Shylock see reason but Shylock refuses to listen to him.

He asserts that he will have penalty as mentioned in the bond. Salarino remarks that the Duke will never grant Shylock the permission to cut a pound of flesh from Antonio’s breast. The cruel nature of the bond will not allow the Duke to grant this justice to Shylock. But Antonio tells Salarino that the Duke will have to grant this justice to Shylock in order to uphold the dignity of the laws of Venice.

Antonio tells Salarino that his worries have weakened his body so much that Shylock will not be able to get one pound of flesh from his body. Antonio expresses his wish to meet Bassanio at the time of his death.

Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 3 Critical Commentary

The scene shifts back to Venice where Antonio is shown to be in trouble. He has forfeited his bond and is in the clutches of Shylock. Shylock is adamant to cut a pound of flesh from Antonio’s heart. He wants to take revenge upon Antonio. Shylock is portrayed as a cruel, clever and revengeful Jew. Antonio displays a lot of patience and argues with Shylock to be reasonable and merciful. But Shylock is adamant.

Even the Duke is in a tight corner. The cruel nature of the bond may prevent the Duke from allowing Shylock to cut a pound of flesh. But on the other hand, he is bound by the laws , of Venice. So Shakespeare keeps up sufficient suspense.

Significance of the Scene

  1. This scene is another step in the direction of the Trial Scene.
  2. Antonio is in Shylock’s grip.
  3. Shylocks’s obdurate stance reveals his cruel nature.
  4. Antonio extremely frustrated.

Merchant of Venice Act 3 Scene 3 Glossary

Lines 1-25
look to him : keep a watch on him
fangs : teeth
fond : foolish
impenetrable : which cannot be satisfied
bootless : useless
forfeitures : penalties

Lines 26-39
commodity : privileges
impeach : deny
bated me : reduced my body (weakened me)
I care not : I do not bother

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