SHORT ANSWER. During the trial scene, the Duke of Venice outlines the case between Antonio and Shylock, expressing his belief that Shylock will not only drop his lawsuit, but forgive Antonio some part of the three thousand ducats Antonio owes him. The Duke then concludes with, “We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.” In a SHORT response, please deal with ALL OF the following in PARAGRAPH form (not as a list, please). MAX 1 PAGE.


In [author]’s [genre] [title], the Duke’s statement to Shylock at the start of the trial scene strongly suggests__________, revealing Shakespeare’s message that__________________________.

  1. TONE: Name the emotion (the tone) with which the Duke speaks this line. Do not say something like “a bad emotion.” Instead, name the emotion.

  2. IMPLICATION: Discuss the implication of the phrase “We all expect.” Who is “we”?

  3. DICTION CHOICE. Discuss the emotional impact on Shylock of the last word. Name the emotion Shylock likely feels.

  4. SUBTEXT.Name the “hidden message” the Duke is sending to Shylock in this statement.

  5.  MOTIF. Name the motif or motifs of the play this statement fits in with the most, and why. What larger concerns does this statement touch upon or reflect?


  1. Did I use the claim sentence template I was required to begin with?

  2. Did I explain parts A-E so that someone else could literally see those words like implication, motif, etc. in my paragraph?

  3. Did I go into detail about WHY these items convey Shakespeare’s message?

  4. Did I explain in so many words what that message was?

  5. Did I get rid of fake questions, passive voice, vague words, and general wordiness?

  6. Did I check for punctuation, grammar, clarity, and spelling?



  • 85-100: These paragraphs clearly answer the question in the first line, using the claim sentence template. Their message is NOT a restatement of the Duke’s words and is NOT an oversimplification of the issues, (e.g. “antisemitism is bad.”) Instead, these paragraphs seek complexity. All issues of tone, implication, diction choice, subtext, and motif were addressed smoothly and clearly.  

    • Papers in the upper range were distinguished by development, smooth style, “voice,” and complexity of thought.

  • 65-80: These paragraphs do an adequate job of answering the question in the first line, using the claim sentence template. Their message may slightly oversimplify the issues, but the student writer is clearly seeking to go beyond restatement. The student writer addressed issues A-E in the question, but may not have developed ideas very far beyond surface interpretation or may not have successfully tied these qualities to the larger point or message. 

    • Papers in the lower range struggled with style, and were characterized by vague words (people, emotion, things, different, way, situation, etc.) and fake questions (Antonio showed him what to do; Bassantio knew how to pay back the loan, etc.) or may demonstrate over-use of passive voice or inflated discourse.

  • 60: These paragraphs make a sincere attempt to answer the question, but may have neglected to discuss all parts, may not have used the claim sentence template and did not provide a claim, or may have mistaken restatement of a quote for analysis. Student may have misread the statement or the scene or may not have sufficiently demonstrated comprehension of the material or the task.

    • Papers in this range struggled with clarity of expression, and it may have been difficult for the reader to make meaning. Spelling, punctuation, vague language, and passive voice may have contributed to the issue here.

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