14 Feb. Jew of Malta, Act 1

  • 1. Who is Machiavel and why does he open the show? What does he tell audiences about Barabas? Does his description of Barabas square with the character when we meet him?
  • 2. Describe Barabas and/or Machiavel’s world views. Do they challenge or corroborate plays we’ve seen so far this semester?
  • 3.How wealthy is Barabas? How does Marlowe convey his wealth to the audience?
  • 4. How does Barabas describe Christians? Jews? Does his description of either or both square with the Christians and Jews we meet later on? What’s Barabas’s point of view on state power?
  • 5. What role does the aside play in this play?
  • 6. Why does Ferneze take all of Barabas’s money? What’s your assessment of Fereneze’s leadership style? Of Calymath’s?  
  • 7. What do you think about Barabas’s relationship with Abigail? How does the Aeschylus reference overshadow it? 
  • 8. What’s the relationship between race and animals in Jew of Malta, Act 1?


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