2nd year English notes | The Merchant of Venice

2nd year English notes | The Merchant of Venice question and answer for kpk board. The merchant of Venice chapter no 19. Chapter 01 to chapter 19.

KPK G12 English Chapter 19 (The Merchant of Venice) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa textbook Board peshawar English book notes

The Merchant of Venice 2nd year English notes kpk board

Q 1. Who was Shylock and where did he live?


 Shylock was the shrewd Jew who lived in Venice, one of the famous cities of Italy. By profession, he was a usurer who had accumulated his wealth just by lending money to the Christian merchants at great interest. Due to his dishonest and treacherous nature, he was not in the good books of the people in Venice, especially in the merchants’ community.

Q 2. Who was Anthonio? Why did he hate Shylock?


Anthonio was the young, passionate and kind-hearted merchant of the city of Venice. He used to lend money to people who were in miserable condition and need financial help. The best part of Anthonio line of work was that he never used to take interest in the money he lent to the people. Due to Anthonio’s generosity and kindness, he was loved and admired by a large number of people who directly or indirectly be benefitted from his courtesies. 

He hated Shylock as he knew it quite well that Shylock used to take a huge amount from the people to whom he lends money in the name of interest. Therefore, in this way, Shylock took advantage from the gloomy condition of already depressed souls of Venice making it hard for them to survive and thus deliberately turning their lives on the path of sadness and depression for a long run.

Q 3. How did Anthonio help the needy in Venice?


Being a compassionate and soft nature soul, Anthonio always tried his level best to cater to the requirements of the needy people of the society. Whenever someone was in need of money, Anthonio lent that person the money without any interest and that gave a sense of relaxation to the needy people as they just had to return the amount which they had taken from Anthonio and not anymore.

2nd year English notes | The Merchant of Venice
2nd year English notes The Merchant of Venice

Q 4. Who was Bassanio and why did he need money?


Anthonio had a list of acquaintances and well-wishers due to his kindness and honesty. Bassanio was the one who was nearest and dearest to Anthonio’s heart. Bassanio was a noble Venetian who loved to live a luxurious life although he had no solid means to earn his livelihood. That’s why on and off he asked Anthonio to lend him money for his expensive survival. At that time, it was the customary practice of the young men of high rank but a small fortune to live a life full of lavishness.

One day, Bassanio visited Anthonio and asked him to lend money, not for the sole purpose of his lavish survival but to present him as a wealthy and influential person in order to marry the daughter of a wealthy father who had died leaving behind all his fortune to his daughter. He asked Anthonio to lend him three thousand ducats to furnish Bassanio as a rich and perfect suitor to that affluent lady.

Q 5. Why did Anthonio and Bassanio go to Shylock, the Jew?


After listening to the demand made by Bassanio, all of a sudden a sad expression made its appearance on Anthonio’s face as he was not in a position to pay Bassanio such a huge amount at that time. At the bottom of his heart, Anthonio wanted to help his friend by any means. So, he found the solution of Bassanio’s problem and decided to go to Shylock, the shrewd Jew usurer and asked him to lend them the desired money.

Both of them went to Shylock and presented their demand, Anthonio asked Shylock to lend them three thousand ducats and offered him any interest he wants from the merchandise contained in Anthonio’s ships on their arrival to the port of Venice.

Q 6. Why did Shylock lend money to Anthonio?


Although there existed a silent rivalry between the two usurers of Venice named Shylock and Anthonio, still on asking Shylock decided to give Anthonio the amount demanded without even taking any interest in it. This was not due to the generosity shown by Shylock but his hidden agenda was to teach Anthonio a lesson how to treat Jews and to snatch each and everything from him including a pound of flesh from any part of Antonio’s body. He made a plan to obliterate the image of Anthonio in the eyes of his well-wishers too.

Q 7. Who was Nerissa and whom did she marry?


Nerissa was the loyal maid of Portia. She was a faithful maid as she assisted Portia later in the play at the court. When Portia and Bassanio made a promise to marry each other, Nerissa and Gratiano, the devoted servant of Bassanio also being in love promised to live for each other’s sake and would like to marry on the same day and time when their masters would marry and tie each other in the strong bond of love, care and affection as soon as possible.

Q 8. What was the condition of the bond?


Before lending the money to Anthonio, Shylock insisted to have a bond signed by Anthonio. Thus, a bond was made between Shylock and Antonio. According to the terms and conditions of the bond, Anthonio had to return three thousand ducats to Shylock in the time period of three months and if Anthonio proved inefficient to abide by the rule, Shylock would have the authority to cut a pound of flesh from wherever he wished to from Anthonio’s body as a forfeit. Although, it seemed quite a pitiless bond to be undertaken still Anthonio signed it just for the sake of his best friend Bassanio.

Q 9. Who was Portia and whom did she marry?


Portia was a wealthy heiress who lived near Venice, at a place called Belmont. She was as graceful in his appearance and character, wit and intellect that she was equal to Cato’s daughter and the wife of Brutus. She wished to marry Bassanio who was Anthonio’s dearest friend. As Bassanio inspired Portia to a great extent, she at the spot gave the verdict in favour of Bassanio as a perfect suit for her. 

Q 10. Why did Shylock refuse to take back the money he lent to Anthonio?


When Bassanio offered Shylock the money, he having malicious thoughts against Anthonio; refused to take the money he lent to Anthonio. In reality, he wanted to take revenge from him in order to teach him a lesson so next time he would not say humiliating words or insult him in any way.

Q 11. What role did Portia play in the court?


When Portia heard about the ill fate of Anthonio from the mouth of Bassanio, she decided to help out his husband’s friend by playing her due role. Portia lent a hand from one of her friend who was a lawyer. He advised her some tips on how to tackle the issue of Anthonio in a successful way. She then went to the court by displaying herself as a young counsellor in the appropriate apparel. She triumphantly defended the case of Anthonio and defeated Shylock badly. In this way, Portia played her role as a counsellor quite well.

Q 12. How was Anthonio’s life saved?


Portia with her intellect and God gifted power to handle the issues quite sensibly saved the life of her husband’s dear friend Anthonio in an astonishing manner. She defended the case through logical reasoning and intellectual remarks and statements. When Shylock was not convinced with the rationality of the young counsellor to simply take the money and let Anthonio’s life spared. Portia in the disguise of a counsellor allowed Shylock to cut a pound of flesh from Antonio’s body near the heart. This gave an immense sense of pleasure to Shylock but as he was about to carry out his brutal task by sharpening his long knife, the counsellor just stopped him by saying that according to the bond you have a right to take a pound of flesh from Antonio’s body but not a single drop of blood should fall to the ground. If this happened then Shylock had to face severe consequences for his actions. As it seemed an impossible task to cut flesh without dropping the blood, that was the time when Shylock made a decision to take his money from Bassanio and throw the idea of taking Anthonio’s life from his mind.

Q 13. Was, in your opinion, the verdict of the court just and fair?


Yes, the verdict of the court was just and fair at the end in order to let down Shylock along with his evil intentions and merciless character. It was the right decision to be taken at the right time, as Shylock was not in a mood to spare the life a kind, honest Christian merchant just to satisfy his hunger for money and jealousy from the trustworthy character of Anthonio.

Christian merchants1
Christian merchant1

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