In Lessing’s play there are four Christian characters and two of the four, Daja and the Patriarch, are portrayed negatively. Daja, a Christian servant of Nathan and his stepdaughter Recha, is characterized as “one of those fanatics who imagine they know the universal and only true path to God” (111). Although she tries to be a devout Christian, she betrays Nathan by revealing his secret regarding ...
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...sides” (118). Although this is only a stage direction and not an actual line from the play, it nonetheless has a major impact on the play. The fact that all characters, representing each of the three religions, come together in the end exemplifies what the author is trying to portray throughout. As Ronald Schechter notes in the introduction, “The play does not end with the various characters tolerating each other. It ends with them embracing each other […]” (20). Having the play conclude this way conveys Lessing’s thoughts on religion. Lessing does not think of Christianity as any better or worse than Judaism or Islam, rather “practitioners of different religions can please God equally” (Schechter 16). And until that higher, experienced judge comes down to rule which religion is better than the others, all religions should be thought as equal in the eyes of God.
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