Who is Malthace in Elizabeth Speare's "The Bronze Bow"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Malthace, the most prominent female character in The Bronze Bow, is the daughter of a Rabbi and the twin sister of Joel, one of the two main male protagonists.  Her full name is Malthace bar Hezron, and she is sometimes affectionately called Thacia or Thace.  Malthace is eighteen when the story begins, independent, intelligent, and hardy, and as such represents the power of women during her time and in the Kingdom of God.  Like her brother she awaits the Messiah, although she does not chafe as restlessly as her brother as she anticipates His coming.  Malthace shows her strength in ministry to those in need, and her intelligence in her determined actions as well as her knowledge of the scriptures.  It is she who correctly interprets the meaning of the verse from the Song of David which gives the book its name, the "bronze bow", explaining to Joel and Daniel that to be able to bend a bow of bronze would be to be able to do the impossible, which is exactly what God in his power will enable His warriors to do.  Malthace makes mistakes, but repents and learns from her errors, showing the depth of her character, and her capacity to change and grow.