From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Merchant of Venice Act 4, Scene 2 Summary

  • On the street in Venice, Portia and Nerissa, still disguised as Balthazar and his attendant, continue to do their legal stuff. Portia tells Nerissa to find Shylock's house and give him the deed of gift they drafted for Lorenzo and Jessica's inheritance. 
  • Portia announces that their plan is to go away tonight and be home before their husbands return tomorrow. Portia notes that Lorenzo will be stoked about Shylock's deed of gift (though she leaves out how Lorenzo will feel about Shylock becoming a broken, defeated man).
  • Just then, Graziano shows up and gives Portia Bassanio's ring, saying he changed his mind. Furthermore, he wants them to come to dinner. Portia accepts the ring, refuses the dinner invite, and plots with Nerissa to raise hell for their men once they get home. Nerissa, quite the little copycat, had also given Graziano a ring, and had, just like Portia, also made him promise never to give it away. Nerissa decides that, in her disguise and with her originality, she'll ask Graziano for this very ring and see if he gives it up.
  • Portia jokes that they'll really give it to their husbands when they come home without their rings. The men will of course swear that they gave the rings to other men, not to random women, but the women, knowing the truth, will swear otherwise. Portia then asks Graziano to show her to Shylock's house.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement