Merchant of Venice: Novel Summary: Act 2 Scene 2

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Launcelot, a servant of Shylock's, is contemplating running away.  He has a dialogue with his own conscience in which he calls Shylock, "the very devil incarnation." (II.ii.27).  He resigns to quit his service with Shylock and then his father, Gobbo, enters the scene.  His father has not seen him in a long time and is now blind and so does not recognize Launcelot.  Launcelot first tells his father that he has died, which upsets his father who had hoped his son would now support him. When Launcelot reveals the truth, his father is sympathetic to his mistreatment at the hands of Shylock.  His next thought is to try and become Bassanio's servant, who next happens to walk by.  Bassanio accepts his service, telling him first to take leave of Shylock.  Launcelot leaves with his father and Bassanio speaks with Gratiano, a loud, wild young man who wishes to accompany Bassanio to Belmont.  Bassanio grants him this wish on the condition that he tone down his manners so that they will be acceptable to the people there.

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