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The Jew of Malta | Study Guide

Christopher Marlowe

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The Jew of Malta | Act 5, Scene 4 | Summary



Ferneze addresses his knights, admonishing them not to sally forth until they hear a cannon shot. This will be the signal for their attack on the Turks. In order to add a specific incentive, ensuring that his countrymen obey his orders, Ferneze emphasizes their release from Turkish domination and from the rule of Barabas as the governor under the Turks.


Like the previous scene, this one helps to build suspense, as we are compelled to wonder about the outcome of Barabas's stratagem. Note that Ferneze is accompanied by the Spanish vice-admiral, del Bosco, which would visually remind the audience of their earlier alliance. The wording of line 4, "the linstock, kindled thus," implies that the actor playing Ferneze demonstrates how the cannon would be fired.

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