Jessica is blinded by love in the play The Merchant of Venice. She willingly gives up her life of riches to be with Lorenzo. When Jessica says “Farewell – and if my fortune be not crost,/ I have a father, you a daughter, lost,”(Act II, Scene 5, line 55) she states that she is planning to leave her father for good. Therefore, when she leaves her father, he loses a daughter and she loses a father that.
When Jessica says “I am sorry thou wilt leave my father so./ Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,/ Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness” (Act II, Scene 3, line 1-3) she reveals to the audience that she and Lancelot, who is leaving Shylock to serve for Bassanio in this scene, were friends when Lancelot served Shylock.
Since Lancelot was leaving and he was her main amusement in Shylock’s home, Jessica thought she wasn’t leaving anything important behind when she decided to go with Lorenzo.
The audience, however, can see the flaws of Lorenzo that Jessica cannot see due to the fact that love is blinding her from the obvious. Lorenzo helped convince her to leave her father, hated her father, and lied to many people to help them escape.
If not for Lorenzo, Jessica would not be leaving her father’s house and stealing from him. Also, Lorenzo hated Shylock because he is a friend of Antonio’s, and Shylock proposed to take a pound of flesh from Antonio. Lastly, Lorenzo was forced to lie to those he knew to escape from Venice to Belmont with Jessica being his torchbearer.
From what we have heard from Jessica in the play thus far it is safe to assume that she may not be able to be accepted into the Christian society completely. However, all through the act, the audience can see that Lorenzo’s friends start warming up to her and treating her differently from her father, a faithful Jew.
This is due to the fact that she is willing to betray her own father to be a member of the Christian society. Though it may seem that she will be accepted and treated as a Christian by Lorenzo’s friends, she won’t be accepted completely due to her bloodline and the acts her own father has committed against the Christian society. For example, Antonio may not be able to accept Jessica like a Christian because her father is willing to cut a pound of flesh off of him.
In conclusion, Jessica is so blinded by Lorenzo’s love that she is not able to see or willingly ignores his flaws. His flaws include helping her steal from her father, convincing her to go away with him and leave her father and the life she knew, hating her father and all other Jews due to the fact that her father wanted a pound of flesh from his friend, Antonio, and lying to those he knew to escape from Venice to Belmont.
Jessica may not be accepted into the Christian society completely due to her bloodline and the fact that her father has committed acts against the Christian society, but so far in the play, she is treated politely by Lorenzo’s friends, though not always acknowledged when in their conversations.
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