Since Charles V had given Malta to the Knights of St John, the island had been ruled by the respective Grand Master of the order. At the time of the Turkish siege, it was Jean Parisot de la Valette, the founder of the later capital Valetta. The name Ferneze is more likely to go back to a governor of Tripoli.1

The Jew of Malta

Ferneze, as the father of Lodowick, is not a knight of the order for whom the vow of chastity applied.

Nominally, the governor rules over Malta, but in reality he is at the mercy of the Ottoman Empire or the support of imperialist Spain in the form of Vice Admiral Del Bosco.2 Within this constellation, he is an extraordinary politician. Elizabethan audiences thought Barabas was a Machiavellian, but it is clearly Ferneze who engages in Machiavellian politics3 and in this he surpasses all other characters including Barabas.4

  1. Thomas and Tydeman (1994)↩︎
  2. Bartels (1999)↩︎
  3. Minshull (1981)↩︎
  4. Anderson (2012)↩︎

Aktualisiert am 10.05.2024

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