The Jew of Malta

The Jew of Malta Character List

Machevil

The speaker who delivers the prologue.

Barabas

The protagonist of the play, father of Abigall. In the New Testament, Barabas is the murderer who is released from prison instead of Jesus (see Luke 23:19-23).

Abigall

Barabas's daughter, she is in love with Mathias, Katherine's son. Abigail means "father's joy" in Hebrew.

Katherine

A lady, mother of Mathias.

Mathias

Katherine's son and Lodowick's friend. He shares a mutual love with Abigall.

Ferneze

The governor of Malta.

Lodowick

Ferneze's son. As with Mathias, he desires to marry Abigall.

Ithamore

A Turkish slave captured by the Spanish navy, bought by Barabas to help carry out his evil plots.

Friar Jacomo

The friar who performs Abigall's second conversion to Christianity.

Friar Barnardine

Friar Jacomo's friend at a different monastery.

Abbess

The abbess of the nunnery, who performs Abigall's first conversion to Christianity.

Calymath

The Turkish leader, son of the Sultan.

Callapine

One of the Turkish Bashaws.

Bashaws

Bashaw, variant of Pasha, was a title held by important Turkish officers.

Martin del Bosco

Vice-admiral to the Catholic King of Spain, and thus an enemy of the Turkish forces.

Bellamira

A courtesan who seduces Ithamore for his master's wealth. Bella mira means "beautiful sight" in Italian.

Pilia-Borza

An attendant to Bellamira. Pigliaborza means "pick-pocket" in Italian.

Knights of Malta, Officers, Two Nuns, Slaves, Turkish Janizaries, A Messenger, Carpenters, Servants, and an Attendant

Incidental characters. Janissaries were military men whose numbers were increasing rapidly in the late 16th century.