Merchant of Venice

Look at the “welcome” given to Jessica (ll.218 and 237). How does she try to fit into Belmont society? What will life be like for her?

act 3 scene 2

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Life will be hard, she will never be accepted as an equal. Lancelot and Jessica are in an argument over whether she can be saved by God since she was born a Jew. Lancelot tells her that since both her parents are Jews, she is damned. She protests that she can be saved once she becomes a Christian because her husband Lorenzo is a Christian. Lancelot then makes a joke, and says that Lorenzo is a bad man because by converting all the Jews he is raising the price of pork (since Jews do not eat pork, but Christians do). Lorenzo then arrives and orders Lancelot to go inside and prepare the table for dinner. He and Jessica praise Portia for being such a wonderful hostess before entering the house to get their dinner.