William Shakespeare – The Merchant Of Venice Act 1 (Practice Questions)

  1. As the play opens, with whom does Antonio discuss his troubles?
    A) Bassanio & Gratiano
    B) Bassanio & Lorenzo
    C) Salerio & Bassanio
    D) Salerio & Solanio
  1. What appears to be the “problem” as the play opens?
    A) Bassanio owes a lot of money to Antonio.
    B) Antonio’s ships are all at sea.
    C) Bassanio is in love.
    D) Antonio is sad.
  1. Which character speaks the following lines?
    Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
    The better part of my affections would
    Be with my hopes abroad.

    A) Bassanio
    B) Antonio
    C) Gratiano
    D) Solanio
  1. What is the missing word from Antonio’s famous lines?
    I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano –
    A __, where every man must play a part,
    And mine a sad one.

    A) place
    B) house
    C) stage
    D) world
  1. Who “speaks an infinite deal of nothing”?
    A) Gratiano
    B) Bassanio
    C) Shylock
    D) Lorenzo
  1. When Bassanio asks Antonio to fund his trip to visit Portia, which of the following is an accurate restatement of Antonio’s response?
    A) Looks like we are going on a road trip!
    B) To whom should I make the check payable?
    C) I don’t have any cash right now.
    D) But why? You know I love you more than she ever could!
  1. In Act I scene 2, which character says,
    “my little body is aweary of this great world”?
    A) Solarino
    B) Nerissa
    C) Portia
    D) Jessica
  1. Which of the suitors that have arrived in Belmont does Portia say she could tolerate marrying?
    A) none of them
    B) Baron Falconbridge
    C) County Palatine
    D) The Duke of Saxony’s nephew
  1. What word best describes how Portia feels about her fate as it relates to a getting a husband?
    A) excited
    B) frustrated
    C) calm
    D) sad
  1. How do Nerissa and Portia know Bassanio?
    A) He visited them once and presented himself as a scholar and a soldier.
    B) He has arrived with the other suitors in Act I.
    C) They met him once on the rialto.
    D) They don’t know him at all.
  1. How much money does Bassanio ask to borrow from Shylock?
    A) 6,000 ducats
    B) 3,000 ducats
    C) 2,000 ducats
    D) 1,000 ducats
  1. For how long does Bassanio wish to make a loan?
    A) 1 month
    B) 2 months
    C) 3 months
    D) 6 months
  1. What does Shylock mean when he says that “Antonio is a good man”?
    A) Antonio is a man who sells goods.
    B) Antonio is a man of good moral character.
    C) Antonio is a good business risk.
    D) Antonio is quite the ladies’ man.
  1. What does Shylock say he will not do with a Christian?
    A) walk, talk, or stay with
    B) sell, buy, or deal with
    C) lend, borrow, or buy with
    D) eat, drink, or pray with
  1. What are the two primary reasons Shylock says he hates Antonio?
    A) Antonio has spit on him and now he plans to run off with his daughter.
    B) Antonio plans to run off with his daughter and he is a Christian.
    C) Antonio is a Christian and his Christian business practices hurt Shylock’s business.
    D) Antonio has spit on him and he has kicked him.
  1. What does Antonio tell Shylock that he never does?
    A) He never worries about his ships.
    B) He never speaks to a Jew.
    C) He never eats pork.
    D) He neither lends nor borrows.
  1. Why does Shylock say that he wants to lend the money to Antonio and Bassanio?
    A) He wants to become a Christian.
    B) He wants to make money off of them.
    C) He wants to be friends with them.
    D) He thinks they might introduce him to more poor Christians.
  1. What does Shylock reference many times during his conversation with Antonio and Bassanio?
    A) The Old Testament.
    B) His hatred of Christians.
    C) His love of the Jewish people.
    D) The present rates of interest.


  1. – D
  2. – D
  3. – D
  4. – C
  5. – A
  6. – C
  7. – C
  8. – A
  9. – B
  10. – A
  11. – B
  12. – C
  13. – C
  14. – D
  15. – C
  16. – D
  17. – C
  18. – A

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