Near the beginning of the Purim story, Esther lives in King Achashverosh's harem and "applies" to be queen by spending the night with him. What do our interpretations say about why she did this and whether it was, l'chatchila, Torah-sanctioned behavior?
My motivation for asking is that I wasn't aware that there were any special permissions for a Jewish woman to enter a non-Jewish man's harem or engineer to marry him, even if she had righteous intentions (nor for a father to give away his daughter to do this). Mitzvos that might apply are
Leviticus 21:29 "Profane not thy daughter, to make her a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of lewdness." (re: Mordechai's hand in this)
Deutronomy 23:18 "There shall be no harlot of the daughters of Israel"
(I don't know if Esther was literally being "וְאֶת רָחָב הַזּוֹנָה," but it would seem that at least a similar prohibition could be involved.)
...Someone told me that Esther and her father were "made" to do this, but the Megillah is not clear. If that interpretation is correct, please provide a textual source.
If she was, in fact, forced, I would be interested in any possible answers to the related question of whether Esther made effort to avoid being kept or chosen. I never get that sense from the Megillah itself, but I haven't read much commentary.