Quotes

The Merchant of Venice/#1/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “I regard the world but as a stage, Gratiano, where every man must play a part,
and mine a sad one.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 81-83.  Antonio to Gratiano.  Antonio, Venice’s high-profile Merchant of Venice, and Gratiano are good friends. Gratiano is a bit of a rascal. Gratiano says “You look not well, Signior Antonio.” Antonio replies with this quote, and then tells us why he disagrees with those who offer reasons for his sadness.

The Merchant of Venice/#2/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Let my liver rather heat with wine than my heart cool with mortifying
groans.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 86-87.  Gratiano to Antonio.   Gratiano tries to lift Antonio out of his funk by doing his best to encourage him. Gratiano offers this quote. He goes on to say to Antonio “Why should a man whose blood is warm sit like a tomb-sculpture of his grandfather.”

The Merchant of Venice/#3/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 122-123.  Bassanio to Antonio.  Gratiano has exited. Gratiano probably overplayed his hand in pressing Antonio to lighten up. Bassanio, who is Gratiano and Antonio’s friend, says “Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing.” Continuing to talk about Gratiano, Bassanio offers this quote and follows with “you shall seek all day ere you find the grains, and when you have them, they are not worth the search.”

The Merchant of Venice/#4/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “They are as sick that overindulge with too much as they that starve with
nothing.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 5-7.
Nerissa to Portia.  Portia, the play’s heroine, lives in Belmont and has been complaining to Nerissa (her waiting-gentlewoman), telling her how “aweary she is of this world,” upset as she is with the requirements placed on her through her father’s will. Nerissa says “You would be (justifiably sad) if your miseries were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are.” Nerissa offers this quote, going on to say “It is no small happiness to be seated in the middle between excess and want.”

The Merchant of Venice/#5/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, poor men’s cottages
would be princes’ palaces.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 12-14.  Portia to Nerissa.  Portia faces a dilemma. Her father’s will requires that she marry the man who passes the interesting test her father devised. Portia is feeling sorry for herself. She offers this quote and goes on to say “I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done than to be one of twenty to follow mine own teaching.”

The Merchant of Venice/#6/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “I had rather be married to a skull with a bone in his mouth than to any of
these.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 50-52.  Portia to Nerissa.  Nerissa has asked Portia “what warmth is there in your affection towards these suitors?” Princes and other well-positioned young men from all over the world have come to Belmont to court Portia. Portia comes up with this quote.

The Merchant of Venice/#7/Quotes and Answers

Quote:  “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Line 107.
Antonio to Bassanio. 
Antonio and Shylock, the moneylender, need each other, but they most certainly are not friends. Shylock dislikes Antonio for several reasons; one being that Antonio “lends out money gratis and brings down the rate of interest here in Venice.” Antonio lends money without charging interest to accommodate his profitable business deals. Shylock’s business is more of a commodity business. Shylock quotes scriptures that describe situations where by lending money gratis men profited in other ways, hurting those who just lend money. Antonio offers this quote to Bassanio.

The Merchant of Venice/#8/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “You kicked me as you spurn a stranger cur over your threshold.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 128-129.  Shylock to Antonio.  Shylock and Antonio are discussing terms of the three thousand ducat loan for three months to Bassanio; a deal Antonio has offered Bassanio to finance a trip to Belmont to visit Portia. Antonio’s good credit is the collateral. The issue is the interest on the loan versus Antonio’s practice of lending “money gratis.” Shylock offers this quote; then says “Shall I bend low with bated breath and say you called me ‘dog’, and for this courtesy I’ll lend you thus much money?”

The Merchant of Venice/#9/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “Let the forfeit be named as an exact pound of your fair flesh, to be cut off
and taken in what part of your body pleaseth me.”

Answer: Act 1, Scene 3, Lines 160-164.  Shylock to Antonio.  Since interest is not to be charged on the three-month loan made to Bassanio, secured by Antonio’s good credit, Shylock extracts a commitment from Antonio to this ‘pound of flesh’ if the loan is not timely repaid, three months to the day. The quote is the commitment. To a skeptical Bassanio, Antonio says “Why, fear not, man, I will not forfeit it! Within these two months I do expect return of thrice three times the value of this bond.”

The Merchant of Venice/#10/Quotes and Answers

Quote: “I would pluck the young cubs from the she-bear or mock the lion when he roars
for prey to win thee lady.”

Answer: Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 30-32.  Morocco to Portia.  The charming Prince of Morocco acknowledges that “the better man” will be determined by “play at dice.” Morocco offers this quote, letting Portia know he will take any risk to win her hand. She reminds him that “you must take your chance.” He’s fine with that.