The Jew of Malta
by Christopher Marlowe
The Jew of Malta Revenge Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line)
Pray leave me in my patience. You that
Were ne'er possessed of wealth are pleased with want.
But give him liberty at least to mourn
That in a field amidst his enemies
Doth see his soldiers slain, himself disarmed,
And knows no means of his recovery.
Ay, let me sorrow for this sudden chance.
'Tis in the trouble of my spirit I speak;
Great injuries are not so soon forgot. (1.2.199-207)
Barabas is accusing the other Jews of being wusses because they don't take revenge on Ferneze. That said, he also makes the point that they don't have as much reason to seek vengeance as he does because they didn't lose as much as he did. This is kind of interesting, because it makes vengeance seems like a math problem. It's not just a case of "you hurt me, now I'm going to hurt you," it's "you hurt me this much, and I'm thus especially sensitive to the need for vengeance."
I am not of the tribe of Levi, I,
That can so soon forget an injury. (2.3.18-19)
Okay, a little tricky, but what Barabas seems to be saying here is that the desire for vengeance is a key element of Jewish identity. (Hint: tribe of Levi = Jews.)
Here comes Don Lodowick the Governor's son,
One that I love for his good father's sake. (2.3.30-31)
It must be opposite day on Malta, because Barabas doesn't actually love Lodowick. In fact, he plans to kill Lodowick to get revenge on Ferneze. And isn't the only time you see children used against their parents. Think about the way that Ferneze uses Calymath as a bargaining chip at the end of the play to negotiate for Malta's restoration with Calymath's father, the Turkish Sultan. Is that different from what Barabas is doing here with Lodowick?