Act II - Scene III


Enter Jessica and [Launcelot] the Clown.

I am sorry thou wilt leave my father so;
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,
Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness:
But fare thee well: there is a ducat for thee.
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see(5)
Lorenzo, who is thy new master's guest:
Give him this letter; do it secretly,
And so farewell; I would not have my father
See me in talk with thee.
Adieu!—tears exhibit my tongue. Most(10)
beautiful pagan,—most sweet Jew! If a Christian did not
play the knave and get thee, I am much deceived. But,
adieu! these foolish drops do something drown my manly
spirit: adieu!


Farewell, good Launcelot.(15)
Alack, what heinous sin is it in me,
To be asham'd to be my father's child!
But though I am a daughter to his blood,
I am not to his manners: O Lorenzo!
If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife;(20)
Become a Christian, and thy loving wife.



  1. By this Launcelot means trick your father. Jessica is Shylock's daughter and Jewish, therefore, she would not be allowed to marry a Christian. Any Christian man would either have to trick Shylock, or Jessica would have to secretly convert. This foreshadows what will happen in the play.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff
  2. Notice how Jessica picks up the same metaphor that Launcelot used to describe Shylock in the previous scene. Except here, while the house is "Hell" Launcelot is the devil, rather than Shylock, and devil is repurposed to mean entertainer.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff