The Jew of Malta | Study Guide

Christopher Marlowe

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Course Hero. "The Jew of Malta Study Guide." Course Hero. 7 May 2018. Web. 21 Sep. 2023. <>.

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The Jew of Malta | Act 3, Scene 1 | Summary



The opening scene of this act introduces two new characters: Bellamira and Pilia-Borza. The former, a courtesan, complains of the decline in business owing to the siege of Malta. One of her remaining customers, Pilia-Borza, slings a bag of silver at her: he has stolen it from Barabas's counting house. Ithamore enters, waxing eloquent to himself over Bellamira's beauty while the other characters slip away. Ithamore says that he has delivered Lodowick's fabricated challenge to Mathias.


Several new twists in the plot mark this scene. Surprisingly, Barabas's counting house proves vulnerable to theft, while Ithamore is charmed by Bellamira's beauty. Pilia-Borza, whose name is a corruption of an Italian term for "pickpocket," uses prose for the first time in the play when he recounts his pilfering of the bag of silver.

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