Study Guide

The Jew of Malta Act 3, Scene 3

By Christopher Marlowe

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Act 3, Scene 3

  • Abigail comes upon Ithamore laughing gleefully over the success of his and Barabas's machinations against Lodowick and Mathias.
  • So, Abigail gets to hear about Lodowick and Mathias's deaths from Ithamore.
  • This is probably one of the worst ways ever to hear that your dad has plotted to kill your boyfriend.
  • Abigail, somehow, keeps her cool throughout this exchange, and asks Ithamore to rustle up some of the friars at the nunnery to come talk with her.
  • After delivering some dirty nun jokes, Ithamore complies and goes to the nunnery.
  • Abigail, alone, gets to think about what's happened, now having figured out how she worked into Barabas's plot against Lodowick and Mathias.
  • She gets that Barabas hated Lodowick because he's Ferneze's son, but what did Mathias ever do to him?
  • Basically, she concludes that everyone is awful.
  • Ithamore shows up with friar, Jacomo, and Abigail asks him to make her a nun.
  • Jacomo's confused, because didn't he already make her a nun? And didn't she not like it too much?
  • Turns out, there's nothing like the death of your boyfriend to turn you around on the whole Christian thing.
  • Jacomo agrees, but asks her to stop changing her mind on the whole Nun! Wait, Not a Nun! thing.
  • She's tempted to tell Jacomo that Barabas's various schemes are what's behind her changes in heart, but doesn't.
  • Big mistake, sister.

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