The courtesan in The Jew of Malta has a speaking name, which is composed of the Italian "bella" (beautiful) and "(am)mirare" (to admire). Her business suffers from the siege of Malta by the Ottomans. She seduces Ithimore, who blackmails with Pillia-Borza Barabas for her, who ultimately poisons all three.

Ithimore immediately recognises Bellamira as a courtesan because of her clothes.1 Despite the dress codes that existed in the 16th century, at least on paper, it is not the colour or texture of the dress that makes her recognisable as a prostitute, but the fact that she can afford fine clothes even though she has no husband or father to support her financially, ergo she can only have earned the money for her expensive garment herself.2

  1. The Jew of Malta. III,1,28↩︎
  2. Nakayama (2002)↩︎

Aktualisiert am 10.05.2024

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