I f your dad was overprotective would you make the choice to stay or run away? Would
you want to branch off and start your own life with your own rules or be under strict instruction?
That’s the choices Jessica had to make when she decides to run away from Shylock and take all his belongings with her. Personally, I feel like Jessica’s choice to run away was the right thing.
In feeling this way, I feel like the place has two themes; loyalty/betrayal and power/control. This applies to Jessica because her loyalty to her father ran to a certain extent and betrayed him by taking all his belongings. Her father had all the power over her but she wanted control of her own life.
Jessica, in my opinion made the right decision by running away. Her loyalty to her father ran so far until she betrayed him. His power over her made her want control over her own life.
The scene that portrays this is (2.3.1720) “But I need to remember I’m related him by blood, not behavior. Oh Lorenzo,if you keep your promise to me, I’ll end this agony by becoming a
Christian and marrying you.” Jessica is running away because of her father’s control. She knows she’s betraying her father by running away but she is giving herself control of her own life.
Jessica also says (2.6.3344), “Here, catch this box. It’ll be worth your while. I’m glad it’s nighttime and you can’t see me/But love is blind, and lovers can’t see the silly things they do around each other/The truth is, I’m behaving like a loose woman. The torchbearer is supposed to bring light and love, but I should be hidden away in the dark.” Jessica is betraying her father but taking his ducats and leaving her home, she disguises herself and a man so no one can see her escaping. Her doubts about being a torchbearer shows she believes she’s not worthy of what it
symbolises thus showing that her loyalty to her father after so many years runs no longer and she feel guilty.
Radford wants us to feel bad for Shylock’s loss of his daughter. Radford adds in an effect of thunder every time Jessica speaks about becoming a Christian or running off. In the movie,
Jessica says “
Oh Lorenzo, If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife, become a Christian and thy loving wife.” The thunder portrays her true feelings in this decision. She is truly unhappy and wants to get out. Radford set Shylock’s discovery of Jessica’s elopement against the background of a thunderstorm with the thunder and the pouring rain that echo the tempest of his feelings as he searches for her in the empty port from which Bassanio has recently departed for Belmont
(44:0354:02). Radford is trying to emphasize Shylock’s loss of his daughter and his ducats and is seeking revenge even if he attempts murder. Shylock’s loss of his daughter shows that her loyalty ran so