Course Content
Merchant of Venice
English – 10
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Merchant of Venice act 3 scene 5 questions and answers class 10

  1. Who enters the scene at the beginning?
    • Launcelot and Jessica enter the scene.
  2. What does Launcelot fear for Jessica?
    • Launcelot fears that Jessica is damned.
  3. How does Jessica believe she will be saved?
    • Jessica believes she will be saved by her husband, who has made her a Christian.
  4. What does Launcelot say about Jessica’s husband converting Jews to Christians?
    • Launcelot jokingly remarks that converting Jews to Christians will raise the price of pork, implying that it has economic consequences.
  5. Who enters the scene after Launcelot and Jessica’s conversation?
    • Lorenzo enters the scene.
  6. Why does Jessica mention Launcelot’s comments to Lorenzo?
    • Jessica mentions Launcelot’s comments to Lorenzo to inform him about their conversation and to tell him how Launcelot was blaming Lorenzo for converting her to Christianity.
  7. What task does Lorenzo assign to Launcelot?
    • Lorenzo instructs Launcelot to go and tell the other servants to prepare for dinner.
  8. How does Launcelot respond to Lorenzo’s task?
    • Launcelot humorously engages in wordplay, saying that the table will be served, the meat will be covered, and their coming to dinner will be governed by humor and conceit. He explained every action clearly trying to point out the many mistakes committed by Lorenzo while giving his orders.
  9. Who exits the scene after their conversation?
    • Launcelot exits the scene after the conversation.
  10. How does Lorenzo comment on Launcelot’s words?
    • Lorenzo praises Launcelot’s clever words and notes that he knows many fools in higher positions who use tricksy words but Launcelot is far more capable in his playful but clever use of words.
  11. Whom does Lorenzo address after Launcelot leaves?
    • Lorenzo addresses Jessica.
  12. How does Lorenzo inquire about Jessica’s opinion of Bassanio’s wife?
    • Lorenzo asks Jessica for her opinion of the Lord Bassanio’s wife and how she likes her.
  13. How does Jessica express her admiration for Portia?
    • Jessica says that her admiration for Portia is beyond expression and that it is fitting for Lord Bassanio to live an upright life because he has such a blessed lady.
  14. What does Jessica imply about Portia’s worth compared to other women?
    • Jessica implies that there is no other woman comparable to Portia in the world.
  15. How does Lorenzo respond to Jessica’s praise?
    • Lorenzo acknowledges Jessica’s compliment and says that Lorenzo is as good a husband as Portia is as a wife.
  16. Where do Lorenzo and Jessica decide to go next?
    • They decide to go to dinner.
  17. How does Jessica humorously respond to Lorenzo’s suggestion?
    • Jessica says humorously that Lorenzo should ask her opinion instead of claiming that he is the best husband. She suggests that she will praise him while she still has a stomach and wants to do it before dinner.
  18. How does Lorenzo respond to Jessica’s suggestion?
    • Lorenzo refuses her offer and says that her praise can be saved for table-talk, as he will digest it along with other things.
  19. How does Launcelot’s comment about converting Jews to Christians relate to the price of pork?
    • Launcelot’s comment about converting Jews to Christians and raising the price of pork is a humorous play on words. It implies that if everyone becomes a Christian, the demand for pork will increase, leading to a rise in its price. It serves as a satirical remark on the economic consequences of religious conversions.
  20. How does Jessica’s statement about Bassanio’s wife finding the joys of heaven on earth connect to her own situation?
    • Jessica’s statement about Bassanio’s wife finding the joys of heaven on earth reflects her admiration for Portia and the happiness she brings to Bassanio. It also highlights Jessica’s longing for a similar fulfilling relationship. It indirectly contrasts her own situation as a daughter of a Jew, suggesting that she hopes for a better life as a Christian.
  21. What is the significance of Launcelot’s reference to “the sins of the father” in his conversation with Jessica?
    • Launcelot’s reference to “the sins of the father” reflects the idea of inherited guilt or responsibility. It suggests that Jessica may face judgment or consequences because of her father’s actions as a Jew. The reference also explores the theme of parental influence and how it can impact one’s own life.
  22. How does Jessica’s statement about being saved by her husband challenge traditional notions of salvation?
    • Jessica’s statement about being saved by her husband challenges traditional notions of salvation that rely solely on religious faith. She suggests that her marriage to a Christian has brought her closer to salvation, highlighting the role of interpersonal relationships and love in one’s spiritual journey.
  23. What does Lorenzo mean when he says, “The fool hath planted in his memory an army of good words”?
    • Lorenzo’s statement about Launcelot planting an army of good words in his memory refers to Launcelot’s ability to use clever and witty language. It suggests that Launcelot has a rich vocabulary and a talent for wordplay, using his linguistic skills to entertain and amuse others.
  24. How does Jessica’s statement about Portia’s worth reflect the societal views of women during that time?
    • Jessica’s statement about Portia’s worth reflects the societal views of women during that time, emphasizing the notion of a woman’s value being linked to her beauty and virtue. It highlights the admiration and awe that Portia, as an idealized woman, evokes in others and suggests the limited agency women had in society.
  25. How does Launcelot’s use of wordplay and puns contribute to the comedic effect in his conversation with Jessica?
    • Launcelot’s use of wordplay and puns contributes to the comedic effect by adding wit and cleverness to his dialogue. His humorous wordplay often relies on double entendre, where words have multiple meanings or can be interpreted in different ways. This creates humorous situations and adds a lighthearted tone to the conversation. Launcelot’s wordplay serves as a form of comic relief, providing entertainment through verbal humor and showcasing his quick thinking and linguistic skills.
      • LAUNCELOT: “That is done, sir; they have all stomachs.”
      • LORENZO: “Goodly Lord, what a wit-snapper are you! Then bid them prepare dinner.”
      • LAUNCELOT: “That is done too, sir; only ‘cover’ is the word.”
      • LORENZO: “Will you cover then, sir?”
      • LAUNCELOT: “Not so, sir, neither; I know my duty.”
        • Explanation: In this exchange, Launcelot engages in wordplay centered around the word “cover.” Initially, when Lorenzo asks him to prepare for dinner, Launcelot responds by saying that it is done and that everyone has appetites (“they have all stomachs”). Lorenzo, impressed by Launcelot’s wit, asks him to instruct others to prepare the table, to which Launcelot replies that it is done, but the word to use is “cover.” This creates a humorous misunderstanding, as Lorenzo interprets “cover” as referring to setting the table, while Launcelot humorously responds that he knows his duty and won’t physically cover his head in front of his superior. The wordplay around “cover” adds a lighthearted and witty element to the conversation, generating comedic effect.
  26. What is the purpose of act 3 scene 5 in Merchant of Venice?
    • Act 3, Scene 5 of “The Merchant of Venice” serves several purposes in the play:
      • Comic Relief: The scene provides comic relief through the interactions between Launcelot and Jessica. Launcelot’s witty wordplay, puns, and humorous observations lighten the overall tone of the play, offering a break from the more serious and intense moments.
      • Character Development: The scene contributes to the development of Jessica’s character. Her conversation with Launcelot reveals her feelings of guilt and fear of damnation due to her heritage as a Jew’s daughter. It also showcases her desire for salvation through her marriage to Lorenzo and her adoption of Christianity.
      • Foreshadowing: Jessica’s statement about being saved by her husband and finding salvation through marriage foreshadows the importance of relationships and the theme of mercy later in the play. It hints at the transformative power of love and the potential for redemption.
    • Overall, Act 3, Scene 5 serves as a lighter interlude within the play, providing comic relief, developing characters, exploring themes, and setting the stage for later events.