Jessica Merchant of Venice | Merchant of Venice Characters Jessica
Character Sketch of Jessica in Merchant of Venice
- attractive, good looking
- sweet and polite
- generous nature
- follows no moral principle
- reckless spendthrift
- romantic and poetic temperament
Jessica – Attractive, good-looking
There is a striking contrast between Jessica and her father. She is attractive, good-looking, sweet, polite and generous. As her mother is long dead, she feels ill at ease under the strict supervision of a suspicious and miserly father. As her father always talks of business and shows no concern or love for her, Jessica feels suffocated. Shylock’s extreme hatred of Antonio and of Christians in general terrifies her. A stifling atmosphere at home turns her into a rebel.
Jessica – Unscrupulous
Jessica follows no scruple in falling in love with Lorenzo, a Christian. It is on her bidding that Lorenzo elopes with her. What is most shocking to us is that she takes away a lot of jewels and cash with her. Jessica does not feel guilty or remorseful for her deed anywhere in the play. She seems to have not an iota of filial love in her.
Jessica – A reckless spendthrift
Jessica proves to be a reckless spendthrift. In Genoa Jessica is reported to have spent as many as eighty ducats at one sitting. She exchanges a precious jewel for a monkey.
Jessica – Romantic and poetic
At Portia’s place Jessica seems to have controlled her reckless nature. As she has before her a good model to follow, she behaves properly and nicely. The deeply romantic and poetic side of her nature is revealed in the beautiful moonlight scene in Belmont. Lorenzo rightly calls her “true”, “fair” and “wise”.