He enters at line 22 to Solanio’s taunting: “How, now, Shylock, what news among the merchants?” (3.1.22-23). Shylock seems not to hear him, for his reply has nothing at all to do with merchants, merchandise, or bonds. He speaks instead of what is obsessing him: “You know, none so well, none so well as you, of my daughter’s flight” (24-25). They agree, and he interprets its significance. “She is damn’d for it” (31). She is damned because she has denied her own Jewish heritage for a Christian. Now Solanio jokes. But Shylock’s mind is fixated on Jessica’s

spiritual condition-and his own: “My flesh and blood to rebel!” (34). The rebellion, once tribal, is now familial, of his own bloodline. Again there is mockery, and again he works out the consequences quite apart from them: “I say, my daughter is my flesh and my blood.” (37-38) Now he too is deeply implicated. Her damnation endangers his own. She is his entire family; he is both mother and father to her. She represents the crux of his family; Shakespeare seems to know that the Jewish lineage, unlike his own, passes down through the female line, and for Shylock, she has damned that lineage forever.