Merchant of Venice

Describe the atmosphere of activity and preoccupation prevailing in this short scene.

It is related to last speech of ACT II SCENE 4.

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Lorenzo, Graziano, Salerio and Solanio are preparing for a masque that night. Lancelot arrives with the letter from Jessica and hands it to Lorenzo. Lorenzo reads it and tells Lancelot to inform Jessica that he will not fail her. Lancelot leaves to bring the news to Jessica, and also to invite Shylock to Bassanio's house for dinner.

After the other two men leave, Lorenzo shows Graziano the letter from Jessica. He tells his friend that he and Jessica plan to steal away from her father's house that night, along with a great deal of her father's gold and jewels.

There is a sense of anticipation and mixed emotions. Stealing Shylocks daughter is going to tear Shylock down but stealing his gold as well might destroy him. So while there is anticipation about whether their plan to flee with Jessica will work, there is also some trepidation, with the audience, about how Shylock will take this loss.