The Jew of Malta by Lorenny Perez-Torrez


In the first three acts of the play, some might say that Barabas’s fortunes and riches are the most important to him. But I might argue in this play theres a whole other theme then just his revenge for his fortune, it revolves around politics and religion so far. In Act 1 Scene two the Officer (reads) “First the tribute money of the Turks shall all be levied amongst the Jews, and each of them pay one half of his estate”, Forcing  the Jews to pay to help tribute the Turks on behalf of the government is almost as bad as making them walk into a camp against their own will. I see that as unfair and abusive that the government would only target the Jews to pay such a heavy penalty. Also, leading to deny paying the fines ” ..shall straight become a Christian.’Forcing a religion onto anyone is not how things should be. Forcing anyone to do something they don’t like, like converting into a religion you don’t believe in is such recipe for conflict.  Barabas reaction to such demands from the government not only does he say ‘ No, governor, I will be no convertite’, I believe that standing for his religious freedom against the government is what sets his revenge in motion. After his estate is taken away and his fortune he saids to Ferneze ” Well then, my lord, say are you satisfied? You have all my goods, my money, and my wealth, my ships, my store, and all that I enjoyed; …… Unless your unrelenting flinty hearts suppress all pity in your stoney breasts, And now shall move you to bereave my life. They’ve taken everything from him, his last words to Ferneze are just the last words from a man who’s world has been flipped agonized with pain. That scene is the key moment I  believe makes him into a man filled with rage who’s looking out for revenge. Can you really blame him for the things his does in the play? He turns into something that his own religion doesn’t abide with and uses his daughter to retrieve what belongs to him. He involves his daughter, Abigall, to pretend to be a nun so she can gain access into their estate. He does this so that she can retrieve his hidden gold and jewels at night. All of Barabas actions towards revenge against Ferneze is just a domino affect that unfortunately takes him and his daughter along with everyone else into a path that is neither about religion or goods  any more but the sole fact of just blinded filled rage of greed and revenge.

One thought on “The Jew of Malta by Lorenny Perez-Torrez

  1. I agree with your idea that Barabas was set off on his revenge mission due to his religious persecution. No one should ever be told what to believe or what not to believe, and I can see why he would not follow through with what he was being ordered to do.

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