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The Merchant of Venice
Act 2, scene 5

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Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Antonio, the merchant in The Merchant of Venice, secures a loan from Shylock for his friend Bassanio, who seeks to court…

Act 1, scene 1

Antonio, a Venetian merchant, has invested all his wealth in trading expeditions. Bassanio, his friend and kinsman, asks him for…

Act 1, scene 2

At Portia’s estate of Belmont, Portia and Nerissa talk over Portia’s frustration at being unable to choose her own husband….

Act 1, scene 3

In Venice Bassanio goes to Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, to borrow, in Antonio’s name, 3,000 ducats. Shylock hates Antonio but…

Act 2, scene 1

At Belmont the Prince of Morocco greets Portia, who tells him the terms of the contest: if he chooses the…

Act 2, scene 2

In Venice Shylock’s servant, Lancelet Gobbo, debates whether he should find a new master. Lancelet’s father comes in search of…

Act 2, scene 3

Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, says good-bye to Lancelet and gives him a letter for Lorenzo, a friend of Bassanio. In a…

Act 2, scene 4

Lorenzo, Gratiano, Solanio, and Salarino try to arrange a masque for Bassanio’s dinner that night. Lancelet brings Lorenzo Jessica’s letter…

Act 2, scene 5

Lancelet brings Shylock an invitation to dinner at Bassanio’s. Shylock grudgingly accepts and commands Jessica to guard their house carefully….

Act 2, scene 6

Gratiano and Salarino wait for Lorenzo near Shylock’s house. As soon as Lorenzo arrives, he calls Jessica, who throws him…

Act 2, scene 7

At Belmont the Prince of Morocco attempts to choose the right chest and win Portia. He picks the gold one…

Act 2, scene 8

In Venice Solanio and Salarino discuss the latest news: Shylock’s torment over the loss of his daughter and the treasures…

Act 2, scene 9

At Belmont the Prince of Arragon attempts to win Portia by choosing the silver chest, but finds in it the…

Act 3, scene 1

In Venice Solanio and Salarino have learned that the Italian ship wrecked in the English Channel was Antonio’s. Shylock enters…

Act 3, scene 2

Portia advises Bassanio to postpone choosing for fear he should make the wrong choice. Bassanio declares himself unable to live…

Act 3, scene 3

Antonio seeks out Shylock in an effort to get the moneylender to listen to him. But Shylock insists that the…

Act 3, scene 4

Portia entrusts the management of her household to Lorenzo and pretends to leave with Nerissa for a house of an…

Act 3, scene 5

Lancelet, the clown, makes jokes at the expense of Jessica and then Lorenzo. Jessica praises Portia and jokes with Lorenzo.

Act 4, scene 1

In court at Venice, Shylock demands that the terms of his bond be fulfilled. Portia enters as a doctor of…

Act 4, scene 2

Gratiano gives the disguised Portia Bassanio’s ring. Nerissa decides to try to obtain from Gratiano the ring that she had…

Act 5, scene 1

Portia and Nerissa return to Belmont. When Bassanio and Gratiano also return, bringing Antonio with them, Portia and Nerissa “discover”…

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Scene 5
Enter Shylock, the Jew, and Lancelet,
his man that was, the Clown.


SHYLOCK 
 Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy judge,
 The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio.—
 What, Jessica!—Thou shalt not gormandize
 As thou hast done with me—what, Jessica!—
5 And sleep, and snore, and rend apparel out.—
 Why, Jessica, I say!
LANCELET  Why, Jessica!
SHYLOCK 
 Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.
LANCELET Your Worship was wont to tell me I could
10 do nothing without bidding.

Enter Jessica.

JESSICA Call you? What is your will?
SHYLOCK 
 I am bid forth to supper, Jessica.
 There are my keys.—But wherefore should I go?
 I am not bid for love. They flatter me.
15 But yet I’ll go in hate, to feed upon
 The prodigal Christian.—Jessica, my girl,
 Look to my house.—I am right loath to go.
 There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest,
 For I did dream of money bags tonight.
LANCELET 20I beseech you, sir, go. My young master
 doth expect your reproach.
SHYLOCK So do I his.
LANCELET And they have conspired together—I will
 not say you shall see a masque, but if you do, then it
25 was not for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on
 Black Monday last, at six o’clock i’ th’ morning,
 falling out that year on Ash Wednesday was four
 year in th’ afternoon.

67
The Merchant of Venice
ACT 2. SC. 5

SHYLOCK 
 What, are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica,
30 Lock up my doors, and when you hear the drum
 And the vile squealing of the wry-necked fife,
 Clamber not you up to the casements then,
 Nor thrust your head into the public street
 To gaze on Christian fools with varnished faces,
35 But stop my house’s ears (I mean my casements).
 Let not the sound of shallow fopp’ry enter
 My sober house. By Jacob’s staff I swear
 I have no mind of feasting forth tonight.
 But I will go.—Go you before me, sirrah.
40 Say I will come.
LANCELET I will go before, sir. Aside to Jessica. Mistress,
 look out at window for all this.
 There will come a Christian by
 Will be worth a Jewess’ eye.He exits.
SHYLOCK 
45 What says that fool of Hagar’s offspring, ha?
JESSICA 
 His words were “Farewell, mistress,” nothing else.
SHYLOCK 
 The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder,
 Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
 More than the wildcat. Drones hive not with me,
50 Therefore I part with him, and part with him
 To one that I would have him help to waste
 His borrowed purse. Well, Jessica, go in.
 Perhaps I will return immediately.
 Do as I bid you. Shut doors after you.
55 Fast bind, fast find—
 A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.He exits.
JESSICA 
 Farewell, and if my fortune be not crossed,
 I have a father, you a daughter, lost.
She exits.