Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Modern English Translation Meaning Annotations – ICSE Class 10 & 9 English


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Original Text
Act I Scene III

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 1

Modern English Reading
Act I Scene III

SHYLOCK : Three thousand ducats; right?

BASSANIO : Yes, sir, for three months.

SHYLOCK : For three months; right?

BASSANIO : For which, as I told you, Antonio shall be obligated.

SHYLOCK : Antonio shall be obligated; right?

BASSANIO : Will you help me? Will you make me happy? Can I know youranswer?

SHYLOCK : Three thousand dollars, for three months, and Antonio obligated.

BASSANIO : Your answer to that.

SHYLOCK : Antonio is a good man.

BASSANIO : Have you heard any suggestion to the contrary?

Word Meaning With Annotation

Ducats : There were gold ducats and silver ducats at the time with which the play deals, bound : Antonio shall be legally responsible for the repayment. Antonio is a good man : “reliable in financial dealings.”

Original Text

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 2

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 3

Modern English Reading

SHYLOCK : Hey, no, no, no, no: my meaning in saying he is a good manis to have you understand me, that he is sufficiently credit-worthy, yet his money is all tied up: he has a large merchant ship going to Tripoli, another to the Indies; I understand, moreover, in the Market place,he has a third to Mexico, a fourth to England, and other ventures he has wasted abroad. But ships are only boards of wood, sailors onlymen; there are land-rats and water rats, land-thieves and water-thieves,—I mean pirates,—and then there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks. The man is, in spite of all this, sufficiently credit worthy. Three thousand dollars -1 think I may take his promise to pay.

BASSANIO : Be assured you may.

SHYLOCK : I’11 be assured that I may; and, that I may be assured, Iwill think it over. May I speak with Antonio?

BASSANIO : If it pleases you to dine with us.

SHYLOCK : Yes, to smell pork; to eat in the temple that your prophet, the Nazarene, conjured the devil into. I’ll buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I’ll not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. What’s the news in the Marketplace? Who’s coming here? Enter Antonio.

BASSANIO : This is Mr. Antonio.

Word Meaning With Annotation

Sufficient : satisfactory as security, his means are in supposition : his fortune may be supposed subject to the risks and failures of business, he hath an argosy bound to Tripolis : It matters little whether Shakespeare was thinking of Tripoli in North Africa, or Tripolis in Syria. Indies : the West Indies near Central America. Rialto : this was the name of the business quarters of Venice, squandered : sent forth; scattered, the man is not with standing sufficient : nevertheless the man Antonio is satisfactory as security, yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into! I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you : there is a story in the Bible of Christ (the Nazarite) compelling certain evil spirits to come out of two men, whose bodies*they had entered. Then the evil spirits asked Christ to allow them to enter into the bodies of a herd of swine, and He allowed them to do so. This is what Shylock refers to; by “habitation” he means the body of the swine. The Jews look upon pork as an unclean and prohibited food. We see in this speech the character of Shylock. He is proud of his race and his religion, and determined not to break any of his religious observances to please the hated Christian. Yet he has the shrewd commonsense of a businessman, and is willing to mix with Christians and do business with them, as long as there is profit to be made. He uses the title “prophet” for Christ, since the Jews do not recognise Him as the son of God.

Original Text

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 4

Modern English Reading

SHYLOCK : He looks like a flattering tax collector! I hate him because he is a Christian; But more, because, in his low simplicity, He lends out money free, and brings down The rate of interest with us here in Venice. If I can catch him once at a disadvantage ,IT1 feed the ancient grudge I bear him until it’s fat. He hates our sacred nation; and he abuses me, Even there where merchants congregate most of the time, Insulting me, my bargains, and my well-won success, Which he calls interest. Cursed be my tribe of Israel If I forgive him!

BASSANIO : Shylock, do you hear me?

SHYLOCK : I am debating about my present monies, And, by the nearest guess, I remember that I cannot instantly raise up the whole sum of three thousand ducats. What about that? Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe, Will supply me. But wait! How many months do you want? Relax, good sir; We were just talking about you.

Word Meaning With Annotation

Fawning publican : ‘ fawning ” usually means “servile” or “cringing” and there seems no reason why such a term should be applied to Antonio. It is Shylock’s bitter hatred which makes him look on Antonio’s mood of melancholy in this light. The term “publican” was used in the new Testament with very much the same significance as “a low caste man” or “an untouchable”. low simplicity : stupid ignorance, usance : profit derived from money lending. If I can catch him once upon the hip : To have a man “on the hip,” meant to have secured such a hold on him that he could easily be thrown to the ground. I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him : I will gratify fully the old grievance I have against him. He hates our sacred nation, and he rails, Even there where merchants most do congregate, On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift,Which he calls interest : In the time of Shakespeare, the modem system of banks was far from appealing. The lending of money was in the hands of private individuals,and there was no restriction on the rate of interest which they could charge. The Jews were foremost in amassing wealth by this means, and they had the reputation of being grasping and merciless creditors, rails : give abuse. Well-won thrift : well-deserved profits. I am debating of : I am calculating, gross : the complete sum. a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe : the Jews were divided into twelve tribes, descended from the twelve children of Israel, your worship : “Your honour.”

Original Text

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 5

Modern English Reading

ANTONIO : Shylock, although I don’t lend or borrow By taking or by giving excess money, Still, to supply the urgent wants of my friend, I’ll break a custom. Does he know How much you want?

SHYLOCK : Yes, yes, three thousand ducats.

ANTONIO : And for three months.

SHYLOCK : I had forgotten; three months; you told me so. Well then, your promise to pay; and, let me see. But listen, I thought you said you don’t lend or borrow By charging interest.

ANTONIO : I never charge interest.

SHYLOCK : When Jacob grazed his uncle Laban’s sheep,—This Jacob was the son of our holy Abraham, As his wise mother said he was, The third possessor; yes, he was the third.

ANTONIO : And what about him? Did he charge interest?

Word Meaning With Annotation

Albeit : although, by taking, nor by giving of excess : by taking from my debtors anything in excess of the sum I have lent to them, nor by giving any such sum to my creditors, ripe : immediate, immediate attention, so Bassanio’s needs require an immediate loan. I’ll break a custom : I shall depart from my custom, and give you interest on this loan, is he yet possess’d, how much you would : Is he aware yet of the amount you want? upon advantage : with the usual interest, grazed : ‘Led out to pasture’, the third possessor : the third heir to the family estates.

Original Text

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 6

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 7

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 8

Modern English Reading

SHYLOCK : No, not charge interest; not, as you would say, Directly charge interest; listen to what Jacob did. When Laban and he agreed That all the lambs which were streaked and multicolored Should be given to Jacob, the ewes, being divided, Were bred with the rams at the end of autumn; And just when the rams and the ewes Were in the act of procreation, The skilful shepherd peeled certain sticks, And, at the moment of mating, He stuck them up before the fat ewes, Who, then conceiving, did in lambing time Gave birth to multicolored lambs, and those were Jacob’s. This was a way to thrive, and he was blest; And good luck is blessing, if men don’t steal it.

ANTONIO : This was an enterprise, sir, that Jacob worked for; A thing that was not in his power to bring to pass, But swayed and fashioned by the hand of heaven. Are you telling me this to make interest good? Or is your gold and silver ewes and rams?

SHYLOCK : I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast as ewes and rams. But listen to me, sir.

ANTONIO : Pay attention, Bassanio, The devil- can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul producing holy witness is like a villain with a smiling cheek, A good apple rotten at the heart. Oh, what a good outside lying has!

SHYLOCK : Three thousand ducats; it’s a good round sum. Three months from twelve; then let me see the rate.

Word Meaning With Annotation

Were compromised : had agreed, eanlings : newly-bom lambs. Streak’d : striped, this was a venture, sir, that Jacob serv’d for : the Biblical story was that Jacob had entered Laban’s service first in order to gain a wife, and then in order to gain a flock. But Antonio retorts that Jacob earned this reward by service, and not by merely’ allowing his money to gain interest. In addition, Antonio casts doubt on the old Biblical story and says that Jacob could not possibly have influenced the birth of the lambs in this manner, was this inserted to make interest good : Was this episode introduced into the Bible in order to justify the taking of interest? Antonio asks this rather sharply, because he thinks that Shylock’s argument has nothing to do with the taking of interest at all, and resents that the Jew should try to justify his money-lending by Biblical quotations, the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose : this has become a well-known quotation in the English language. It arises, in the first place, from another incident described in the Bible, where the devil tempts Christ, and supports his temptations by craftily used quotations and allusions from the Divine law. a goodly apple : an apple which has an outward appearance of goodness, goodly outside : a fair outward appearance.

Original Text

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 9

Modern English Reading

ANTONIO : Well, Shylock, shall we be indebted to you?

SHYLOCK : Mr. Antonio, many times and often In the Market place you have abused me About my monies and my interest rates; I still have taken it with a patient shrug, Because suffering is the badge of all our tribe; You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, And spat on my Jewish clothes, And all because of using of that which is my own. Well then, it now appears you need my help; Come on, then; you come to me, and you say”Shylock, we would have money.” You say so: You that spit on my beard, And kick me as you spurn a strange dog On your doorstep; money is what you ask for. What should I say to you? Shouldn’t I say” Has a dog got money? Is it possible A dog can lend you three thousand dollars?” Or Shall I bend low and, in a bondman’s voice, With soft breathing and whispering humbleness, Say this:—” Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;You spumed me such a day; another time You called me dog; and for these courtesies I’ll lend you thus much money?”

Word Meaning With Annotation

Beholding : obliged, indebted, rated : blamed, gaberdine : a peculiar type of robe worn by the Jews. For Antonio to spit upon it would be a direct insult to Jewish nationality, for use of that : for using my own money as I choose, void your rheum : spot, cast your saliva, moneys is your suit : now your request is for money! bondsman’s key : “a voice like a slave.” key : tone, bated breath : quiet breath.

Original Text

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 10

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 11

Modern English Reading

ANTONIO : I am likely to call you so again, To spit on you again, to spurn you too.If you will lend this money, don’t lend it As if to your friends, because when did friendship take Race as pure proof of his friend’s worthiness?But lend it rather to your enemy, Who, if he defaults may face Exact the penalty better.

SHYLOCK : Why, look, how you get angry! I wish to be friends with you, and have your friendship, Forget the shames that you have stained me with, Supply you need right now, and don’t pay a jot of interest for my money, and you’ll not hear me complain: I offer you kindness.

BASSANIO : This was kindness?

Word Meaning With Annotation

I am as like to call thee so again : “It is quite likely that I shall do so again.” Antonio is quite frank about his treatment of Shylock; he admits it, and offers no regrets. His attitude seems to be that it is a natural thing, and just what a Jew might expect, for when did friendship take A breed for barren metal of his friend : the word “breed” is probably used because the illustration of Jacob and his lambs is still fresh in the mind of Antonio. He means “profit” i.e., interest produced by lent money, just as lambs are produced by sheep, but lend It rather to thine enemy : But rather consider me as an enemy when lending it. If he break : If he break the conditions agreed upon; if he fail to repay, with better face : with a better appearance of justice; with no shame in doing so. would be : would like to be. and take no doit of usance : “and accept not one pie of interest.” this is kind I offer : “A man likes the company of his own kind” Shylock means, “This is your own system of loan which I offer, without any interest.” But there may be a double meaning intended, for “to pay a man in kind” means to return ‘similar treatment to him. this were kindness : Antonio, of course, sees no double meaning in Shylock’s words, and replies, “That would indeed be kindness on your part.”

Original Text

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 12

Modern English Reading

SHYLOCK : I will show you this kindness. Go with me to a notary, seal your single promiseto pay me there; and, in a happy sport, If you don’t repay me on such a day, In such a place, such sum or sums as are Expressed in the conditions, let the penalty Be an equal pound Of your beautiful flesh, to be cut off and taken In whatever part of your body that pleases me.

ANTONIO : Happily, in faith; I’ll put my seal to such a promise to pay, And say there is much kindness in the Jew.

Word Meaning With Annotation

Notary : a solicitor; a legal officer, single bond : a bond undertaken by one man, i.e., it was signed by Antonio alone, nominated : agreed upon, equal pound : exactly a pound. I’ll seal to such a bond : ‘I will place my name to this agreement.’

Original Text

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 13

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 14

Modern English Reading

BASSANIO : You shall not put your seal to such a promise to pay For me; I’d rather live in my poverty.

ANTONIO : Why, don’t be afraid, man; I won’t default in payment; Within the next two months, that’s a-month before This promise to pay expires, I expect to get a return of three times three of the value of this promise to pay.

SHYLOCK : Oh, father Abraham, what are these Christians, Whose own hard dealings teach them to suspect The thoughts of others. Please, tell me this; If he should break his promise, what should I gain By taking his forfeit? A pound of man’s flesh, taken from a man,Is not so valuable, or profitable either, As flesh of mutton, beef, or goat. I say, To buy his good will, I extend this friendship; If he will take it, okay; if not, goodbye; And, for my friendship, please don’t insult me.

ANTONIO : Yes, Shylock, I’ll put my seal to this promise to pay.

SHYLOCK : Then meet me immediately at the notary’s; Give him directions for confirming this happy promise to pay, And I’ll go and get the dollars right away, Check on my house, left in the care of an unlucky rogue, and I’ll be with you soon. (Exit.)

Word Meaning With Annotation

I’ll rather dwell in my necessity : “I would rather remain in my present state of need.” within these two months : in two months from this date, father Abraham : Shylock swears by his great Jewish ancestor, break his day : break his promise to pay on a certain day. muttons : beefs, these words, refer only to the flesh of animals, were originally French, and meant “sheep” and “oxen.” purse the ducats straight: at once make ready the ducats in a purse for you the fearful guard : “left in the unsafe care.” Launcelot is such a careless fellow that it causes Shylock Tear that he could not be the guardian of the house even for the time being.

Original Text

Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3 Translation Meaning Annotations 15

Modern English Reading

ANTONIO : Hurry, gentle Jew. This Hebrew will become a Christian: he’s getting kind.

BASSANIO : I don’t like fair terms and a villain’s mind.

ANTONIO : Come on; in this transaction, there can be no fear; My ships come home a month before the due date. (Exeunt.)

Word Meaning With Annotation

Hie thee, gentle Jew : “Go, kind Jew.” It will be noticed that Antonio uses the word “gentle.” He has been completely deceived by the superior craft of Shylock, and thinks that all his professions of friendship are genuine. I like not fair terms and a villain’s mind : “I am suspicious when, fair conditions are offered by a man whom I know to be a villain.” Bassanio is more quick-witted and alert than Antonio, ‘and his suspicions of Shylock are not so easily lulled to sleep, dismay : “ground for fear.”

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