ICSE syllabus for class 9 and 10 includes a topic on the Merchant of Venice. A large portion of the exam’s weightage is devoted to it. The play consists of five acts and several scenes. As a result, students lose marks because it is difficult to find the complete Guide of questions and answers. We provide you with Act 1 , Scene 3 questions and answers written in accordance with the CISCE guidance pattern.


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The Merchant of Venice Question Answers Act 1, Scene 3

Where are Antonio and Bassanio? Why are they there? Who else is present?


Bassanio and Antonio are in Venice. Shylock is a Jewish money lender they have met. Bassanio needs three thousand ducats. Antonio, who lacks the money to help his friend, turns to the money-lender to borrow it for him against his own security. In addition to Antonio and Bassanio, Shylock, the Jew, is also present.

What danger does Bassanio foresee for Antonio? What does Bassanio mean by saying ‘rather dwell in my necessity’?


Bassanio cautions his friend Antonio not to sign the bond. He sees the danger in signing such a bond. He correctly judges Shylock. He understands that the money-lender’s intentions are not good and he means to do mischief. If such a situation arises, Shylock will not hesitate to penalize Antonio. Thus, Bassanio says that he would rather prefer to live with his needs unfulfilled than risk his friend’s life in standing surety for him in that manner.

What does Shylock mean by saying that “his means are in supposition”, and how does he substantiate his view?


Shylock implies that Antonio’s wealth is in some doubt with his present state of wealth. Trying to prove his point, Shylock asserts that Antonio’s wealth consists of the ships and the merchandise they carry to different destinations. Antonio does not have any cash on hand. Antonio would not be seeking a loan from a money-lender if he had any cash. The seas are full of dangers for ships. A ship can be sunk by a storm or by colliding with rocks. Alternatively, sea-robbers may attack ships and steal all the merchandise. Antonio might suffer heavy losses and find it impossible to repay the loan within three months.

Do you find Shylock’s logic in his speech to be convincing?


The speech of Shylock is rational and logical, so it is quite convincing. Those days, ships did get wrecked in storms, and pirates robbed trading vessels. Shylock speaks here in a manner that is very plausible and, we could even argue, realistic. Antonio suffers heavy losses as a result, and is forced into bankruptcy.

What are the grounds for Shylock’s ancient grudge against Antonio?


Shylock harbors a grudge against Antonio for lowering the interest rate in Venice by lending money gratis. Antonio is also hostile to Shylock because Antonio hates Jews and has defamed him at the Venetian Stock Exchange. Shylock’s money-lending operations and the undue profits he makes from those operations have been condemned by Antonio.

What is Shylock’s grievance against Antonio?


Shylock’s grievance is that he has been on several occasions scolded by Antonio for the loans given to people by taking interest from them.

Why does Shylock call all Christians Strange?


Shylock feels that all Christians are strange people. Their Own rigid business desires make Shylock suspect the motives of others.

Why should Shylock not advance the loan as a friend?


Antonio challenges Shylock and tells him not to advance any loan as a friend. When we advance a loan to a friend, we do not charge any interest on it. But Shylock is not going to give up his interest.

What will Shylock gain by having a pound of flesh?


Shylock will not gain anything by having Antonio’s pound of flesh if he forfeits the bond.