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Introduction to 'The Merchant of Venice - Macmillian readers'

Butterfly 55

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The Macmillian Readers provide a choice of enjoyable reading materials for learnes of English.  www.macmillianenglish.com/readers


1. What explanation did Salerio and Solanio give for Antonio’s sadness?
        Lord Antonio, who is the merchant of Venice in this story, didn’t feel well that particular day as if something would happened to him, so he apologised for not being all eyes and ears for his friends.

( Act 1 Scene 1 p.11 :  Believe me, no. I am very lucky. My cargo is not all in one ship, or in one place. And my wealth does not depend totally on the success of this year’s business. So that is not what makes me feel miserable.)           
        On the other hand, his friends could understand how painstaking and sorrowful his business matters were, and they wanted nothing more than to support him in his grief. They even spoke of what they believed in, and ridiculed or minored the whole matter as friends do.

 2. What did Bassanio ask Antonio for, and why?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Young man Bassanio seems to have a good understanding with lord Antonio ( also, Money and Friendship are important themes in the play) even if junior would have financial issues, lord Antonio would always be willing help him out. So for the second time he came asking lord Antonio if he could borrow him some money/ give him some loan. With as only explanation that he would go and ask the hand of beautiful fair Miss Portia. As he had remarked on one of his visits to Belmont when visiting Miss Portia that she didn’t seem to dislike him at all. Therefore, he was on the look out to get engaged with her and make her his fiancee/his beloved spouse.

( p.14 : Bassanio: In Belmont there is a lady whose father died, leaving her very rich. She is fair, and, better still, has many wonderful qualities. And when I met her, I believe from the way she looked at me that she liked me. Her name is Portia…)

3. How did Antonio promise to help?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  He said to Bassanio to look out for a lender, which he would pay back after his ship/his freight were safe and sound at port. (had returned.)

( p.15 Antonio: You know that all my money is tied up in my ships at the moment. I do not have money I can give you now, or anything that I can sell. So go and see if you can borrow some money in my name in Venice. Borrow as much as  you need to take you to Belmont to fair Portia. Go now, and ask who can give you some money. And I will do the same.)

4. How had Portia’s father decided that she should choose her husband?
                  Her father had decided that the one who choose the right chest/ box , would be the rightful husband to mary his daughter. Those three small boxes, which was spoken of, were layered in: one in gold, on in silver and a small leaded chest/ box.

5.  Why had Portia not liked the Duke of Saxony’s nephew?       

 She had let her best friend Nerissa  know what she taught of him, and had no good word for his behaving in general; more over, she despise him as a drunk.





Edited by Butterfly 55
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