The Jew of Malta
by Christopher Marlowe
The Jew of Malta Perseverance Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)
Good Barabas, be patient. (1.2.198)
Okay, so, maybe not the longest quote, but it still says something important. The other Jews are trying to get Barabas to be "patient," which doesn't mean "hold your horses and wait till it gets better," but rather that Barabas should ride it out suffer for as long as God intends, as did the Biblical Job. But suffering? Not exactly Barabas's style.
See the simplicity of these base slaves,
Who, for the villains have no wit themselves,
Think me to be a senseless lump of clay
That will with every water wash to dirt! (1.2.216-19)
Barabas is not on board with all this "be patient" stuff the other Jews are advising—they're basically telling him to lie down and take whatever abuse the Christians mete out. To them, that may symbolize strength and conviction, but to Barabas it's equivalent to being a wimp. Er, a "senseless lump of clay."
What, will you thus oppose me, luckless stars,
To make me desperate in my poverty,
And, knowing me impatient in distress,
Think me so mad as I will hang myself,
That I may vanish o'er the earth in air
And leave no memory that e'er I was?
No! I will live, nor loathe I this my life.
And since you leave me in the ocean thus
To sink or swim, and put me to my shifts,
I'll rouse my senses an awake myself. (1.2.260-69)
Activate, Super-Human-Drive-To-Thrive! Not only is Barabas not going to give up, he's also not going to sit around feeling depressed. One of the things that really characterizes Barabas is the gusto and vigor with which he plans and executes his plots. At the moment that he imagines that the cosmos themselves are lined up against him, Barabas, instead of sulking, is waking up.