Act IV - Scene II

[The same]

Enter Portia and Nerissa.

Inquire the Jew's house out, give him this deed,
And let him sign it; we'll away to-night,
And be a day before our husbands home.
This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.

Enter Gratiano

Fair sir, you are well o'erta'en:(5)
My Lord Bassanio, upon more advice,
Hath sent you here this ring, and doth entreat
Your company at dinner.
That cannot be:
His ring I do accept most thankfully,(10)
And so, I pray you, tell him: furthermore,
I pray you, show my youth old Shylock's house.
That will I do.
Sir, I would speak with you:—
I'll see if I can get my husband's ring,(15)
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever.
Thou may'st, I warrant we shall have old swearing,
That they did give the rings away to men;
But we'll outface them, and outswear them too.
Away! make haste; thou know'st where I will tarry.(20)
Come, good sir, will you show me to this house?



  1. By this Portia means much or a lot of swearing that becomes meaningless in its repetition. The rings have become symbolic for the bond between two people. In giving the "rings away to men," Portia and Nerissa's husbands have symbolically made the bond between two men more important than the bond between them and their wives. Portia and Nerissa must now use the rings to assert power over their husbands.

    — Caitlin, Owl Eyes Staff