Who should afore us merchants accompted be?

Scene 4 - The Merchant

The Merchant comes on-stage to make an appeal to Jupiter for moderately windy weather to aid the passage of his ships across the sea. He is granted an audience with Jupiter and explains that the approval of this suit will greatly increase the commonwealth, as he will be able to quickly deliver exported goods and equally quickly bring home profits and imports for the benefit of all. As with The Gentleman, Jupiter tells The Merchant that he will remember his suit and only make a decision once he has heard them all. At the end of the scene there is some confusion over Merry Report's tip, the etiquette surrounding which The Merchant does not quite grasp, until he realises that a little reward for god's servant might help him when Merry Report comes to summarise all of the suitors' arguments at the end of the play.

Key Research Topic


The Merchant 034_mr_mer

The social status of Merchants both in Tudor society and at the court is questioned, as well as their representation in literature.

Historical Context

Description of a Merchant from the General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales


A useful depiction of this emergent class.



View film stills from Scene 4


View photos of Richard Hansell as The Merchant