My Name is Red

My Name is Red

Esther is a large Jewish woman who works as a clothier and lives in the Jewish Quarter of Istanbul with her husband, Nesim. She is something of a professional busybody; women from all over the city bribe her to convey messages and gather information on their behalf. In this sense, Esther represents an embodiment of public presence and autonomy—liberties from which Muslim women in Istanbul are restricted. Esther is a comic character who possesses a mix of conflicting qualities; she can at times be caring and kind, but at other times she will deliberately spread misinformation, hurt people’s feelings, and cause trouble. Shekure relies on her to help inform Black of her love for him and to arrange their marriage after Enishte’s death.
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Esther Character Timeline in My Name is Red

The timeline below shows where the character Esther appears in My Name is Red. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7: I Am Called Black
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...The woman remarks that Black is as handsome as people say. She introduces herself as Esther, and asks if Black would like to buy some silk from her. When Black says... (full context)
Chapter 8: I Am Esther
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Esther says she knows the reader will be curious what Shekure wrote in the letter. It... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Esther lists the ways in which the letter reveals information that have nothing to do with... (full context)
Chapter 11: I Am Called Black
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...understand. Finally, he would ask a question about blindness. After this, Black leaves and meets Esther. He gives her the letter and asks her to tell Shekure that he has gone... (full context)
Chapter 15: I Am Esther
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Esther observes that Black is clearly deeply in love, because when he speaks about Shekure he... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Esther comments that Black has written well, but Hasan responds that he has stolen lines from... (full context)
Chapter 16: I, Shekure
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Shekure admits that every time Esther leaves her house, she feels “confused” and “wretched.” Orhan comes in, and Shekure puts away... (full context)
Chapter 22: I Am Called Black
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...Jew. Shevket leads Black there and explains that the family who live there are having Esther sell the house. The cat’s body is gone, and Shevket remarks that Enishte says that... (full context)
Chapter 25: I Am Esther
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
As Esther is packing fabric into her bag to sell, Hayrire arrives at her door with a... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...they meet at the house of the Hanged Jew, where no one will find them. Esther comments that Black is “genuinely in love with Shekure,” and Hasan responds that this proves... (full context)
Chapter 26: I, Shekure
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
When Hayrire returns with Esther, Shekure is spying on Black and Enishte. She worries that Black’s love for her will... (full context)
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Shekure notes that dreams are powerful. In Portugal, where Esther comes from, the Jesuits would torture Jews who claimed to be Catholic, forcing them to... (full context)
Chapter 32: I, Shekure
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...the house of the Hanged Jew and she gives it to Hayrire to give to Esther. When the boys wake up, Shekure tells them that Enishte is better and has gone... (full context)
Chapter 39: I Am Esther
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Esther enjoys the experience of being among the crowd at Enishte’s funeral. At Enishte’s house, she... (full context)
Chapter 42: I Am Called Black
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...painting. Osman takes the painting and hands the letter to Black. Shekure tells Black that Esther visited Kabilye, who gave her the enclosed painting, which was found on Elegant’s dead body.... (full context)
Chapter 53: I Am Esther
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Black arrives at Esther’s house and she tells him she will meet him outside. She explains that Shekure’s first... (full context)
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Esther fears for her safety and regrets getting involved in Black’s business. She enters Hasan’s house... (full context)
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...father says that if Shekure wants to leave, she can go. The children cry, and Esther urges Shekure to put on her veil and get out, but Shekure expresses fear about... (full context)
Chapter 59: I, Shekure
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...mount him on a horse. Back at home, Shekure and Hayrire tend to Black’s wounds. Esther bursts into the house and joyously declares that Olive’s head was found outside the workshop... (full context)