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The Jew of Malta
Summary & Analysis
(III.i); (III.ii); (III.iii)
(III.iv); (III.v); (III.vi)
Important Quotations Explained
Full Book Quiz
Analysis of Major Characters
Themes, Motifs, and Symbols
(3.i); (3.ii); (3.iii)
(3.iv); (3.v); (3.vi)
Suggestions for Further Reading
How to Write Literary Analysis
Suggested Essay Questions
How to Cite This SparkNote
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1. Why does Machevill say that he has come to England?
To visit the Queen
To visit Barabas
To cause mischief with friends
To plot against the Pope
2. What is Barabas's reaction to the news that all Jews must go to the senate- house?
He assumes that the Governor needs advice.
He thinks that the Turks have attacked Malta.
He suspects the summons has something to do with paying tribute.
He thinks the Jews are lying.
3. What excuse does the governor use to confiscate all of Barabas' estate?
He says that because Barabas refused to hand over half his wealth, then his entire estate is forfeit.
He says that Barabas has cheated the state through tax fraud.
He says it is too much for one man to own.
He doesn't use an excuse: Barabas gives his estate up voluntarily.
4. Why does Barabas mock the knight's assertion that it would be "simple policy"—i.e. foolish strategy—to break the league with the Turks?
Barabas believes that Spain can help Malta.
Barabas thinks that breaking the league will save him money.
Barabas thinks that the Christians' "policy" is one of hypocrisy and cunning, rather than foolishness.
Barabas thinks that the Turks are a powerless enemy.
5. Which one of Abigail's qualities does Mathias praise to Lodowick?
Her father's wealth
6. What treasure does Abigail recover from her father's house?
A chest of jewels
Moneybags filled with gold
A hoard of silks and spices
A priceless pearl
7. Where did Del Bosco capture the Turkish slaves?
On a merchant ship headed east
In a battle in Corsica
They were the crew of a Turkish galley the Spaniards captured following a sea- battle.
8. Which jewel does Lodowick refer to Abigail as?
9. Why does Barabas choose to buy Ithamore instead of the other slave?
Ithamore will cost less to feed.
Ithamore is better looking.
Ithamore says he hates Christians.
Ithamore seems friendly.
10. Why does Barabas tell Abigail "It is no sin to deceive a Christian"?
Barabas thinks that Christians are stupid and that they deserve to be misled.
Barabas thinks this treatment is retribution for all the times Christians have deceived Jews.
Christians believe that they should never be honest with heretics. Barabas argues that this also holds true for Jews, to whom Christians are heretics.
Barabas does not believe that lying is a sin.
11. Why has the courtesan Bellamira's business dried up?
She has grown ugly.
The blockade of Malta by Turkish forces has prevented merchant ships from getting through.
Pilia-Borza has scared off all her customers.
She has fallen in love with Ithamore and finds the idea of prostitution distasteful.
12. When does Abigail decide she wants to convert to Christianity?
After she hears about her father's role in the deaths of Lodowick and Mathias
Before Lodowick and Mathias duel for her hand
After Barabas defects to join Calymath
After Bernardine and Jacomo try to get Barabas to convert
13. What does Barabas use to poison the convent?
A dish of pasta
A pot of rice
14. What does Barabas say when Ithamore asks him if he is grieved at Abigail's death?
He says he feels saddened but that Ithamore's presence has helped him to recover.
He says he is disappointed that she lived for so long and that she decided to become a Christian.
He doesn't feel anything at all.
He despairs at her conversion but believes that she will be punished in hell.
15. Why is Bernardine grieved by Abigail's death?
Because she died a virgin
Because she was a sincere Christian
Because he was sleeping with her
Because she was Barabas's heir
16. Why does Barabas kill Bernardine and Jacomo?
He detests the priests for their hypocrisy.
He wants to demonstrate his cunning to Ithamore.
Bernardine offended Barabas by converting Abigail, and Jacomo knows about Barabas's crimes.
Jacomo offended Barabas by converting Abigail, and Bernardine knows about Barabas's crimes.
17. How does Ithamore attempt to bribe Barabas?
He sends him death threats.
He threatens to burn his house down.
He threatens to confess all of Barabas's crimes.
He pretends to have evidence proving that Barabas is helping the Turks.
18. How does Barabas disguise himself in order to poison Bellamira, Pilia-Borza, and Ithamore?
He dresses as a Spanish fiddle-player.
He pretends to be a Turkish bashaw.
He steals the uniform of one of Ferneze's officers.
He pretends to be a French lute-player.
19. What does Barabas demand when Ferneze sends him to jail?
He seeks retribution for the wrongs the governor has done him.
He asks that Bellamira and Pilia-Borza also be sent to jail.
He insists on being treated with fairness under the law.
Barabas demands to be put into a cell far away from Ithamore.
20. In what way does Barabas feign death?
He takes a sleeping potion.
He lies very still and holds his breath.
He bribes his guards to pretend that he is dead.
He knocks himself unconscious on his cell door.
21. How does the Turkish army defeat Malta?
Barabas tells Calymath about a passage cut through the rock that leads to the town.
The Turks capture Ferneze and force the Maltese to surrender.
The Turkish fleet starves the town by blockading its food supplies.
Barabas poisons all of the town's wells.
22. Why does Barabas decide to make a deal with Ferneze?
He knows that his life is in danger when the Turks leave Malta.
Ferneze persuades him that it is good policy.
Calymath threatens to kill Barabas if he is an unjust governor.
Barabas decides that he should atone for the wrongs he has done Ferneze.
23. How much money does Ferneze give Barabas to free Malta?
A chest full of gold
24. What adjectives would best describe Barabas's attitude as he dies?
Contrite and apologetic
Enraged and unrepentant
Timid and apprehensive
Quiet and reflective
25. To whom or what does Ferneze credit Malta's deliverance?
To his own sharp statecraft
To Calymath's naivety
To the amulet he wears around his wrist
To Barabas's treachery and Divine Providence
Context Quick Quiz
The Jew of Malta
Barabas: Character Analysis
Important Quotations Explained
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