Study Guide

The Jew of Malta Act 3, Scene 6

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Act 3, Scene 6

  • Cut to the nunnery. BAM, all the nuns are dropping like flies.
  • Looks like Barabas's porridge has done its job.
  • Abigail, in her death throes, finds friar Bernadine.
  • She confesses everything that happened with Lodowick and Mathias: that Barabas engaged her to them both and then tricked them into killing each other.
  • She gives him a piece of paper which has all of Barabas's misdeeds written on it, but begs Bernadine to not tell anybody about it.
  • Because this is a religious confession, Bernadine is forbidden by church law to go to the authorities with the things Abigail's told him.
  • Abigail thanks him, asks that Bernadine convert Barabas (and thereby save his soul) and dies.
  • After mourning briefly that Abigail died a virgin (note: there are more dirty nun-friar jokes in this play that you can shake a stick at), Bernadine is joined by his fellow friar Jacomo.
  • They agree to bury the nuns and then confront Barabas.
  • Bernadine can't tell anyone official what Abigail told him, but he can go directly to Barabas, apparently.

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