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Lancelot is a clown and a servant—first Shylock's and then Bassanio's. Like all Shakespearean clown figures, Lancelot's job is to fool around, make smart-alecky comments, and bag on all the other characters in the play. When Lancelot leaves Shylock's "hell" house to serve Bassanio, we're reminded of how awful it is to live with Shylock (for Lancelot and for Jessica).