Jessica is Shylock’s daughter. She does not have the happiest of home-lives with her father, finding it only relieved by Lancelot’s jesting.
She feels wrong that she does not actually like her father, but she cannot agree with his ways. Falling in love with Lorenzo, she plots with him to run away together. She is practical-minded enough to let him know how much money she can bring with her. She disguises herself as a boy to facilitate her flight, though she is deeply embarrassed to do so. Fleeing to Genoa with him and hence escaping a fun-denying father, she spends a great deal of money in the flush of her freedom, even giving up an heirloom ring for a monkey. She follows Lorenzo to Belmont, and assures the others that her father will not relent in the matter of Antonio’s bond. Finding Launcelot again there, she takes his teasing well. She matches wits well with those she meets, swearing that she would be able to find more examples of nights and lovers than Lorenzo could. She does not speak on hearing what happened to her father, nor on learning that she and Lorenzo will inherit all his wealth on his death.