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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. 28 May 2023. <>.

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The Jew of Malta | Act 4, Scene 3 | Summary



Barabas enters, reading Ithamore's first blackmail letter and delivering a scurrilous rant on Pilia-Borza's physical appearance and putative morals. Pilia-Borza enters to demand more money. Barabas winces with pain, complaining that he regards Ithamore's extortion as a personal betrayal. Hoping to poison Pilia-Borza, he invites him to dinner, but the messenger refuses. Barabas reluctantly hands over the money. After Pilia-Borza's departure, Barabas vows to get even with Ithamore, whom he will visit in disguise.


This further advance in the plot shows Barabas on the defensive for the first time in the play. He is still a dangerous man to cross, however, as his impromptu scheme to poison Pilia-Borza makes clear. The scene ends with suspense. How will Barabas disguise himself, and what specific tack will he take to revenge himself on Ithamore?

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