Jew of Malta

ISBN-10: 155481068X
ISBN-13: 9781554810680
Edition: 2011
List price: $13.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: First performed by Shakespeare's rivals in the 1590s, Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta was a trend-setting, innovative play whose black comedy and final tragic irony illuminate the darker regions of the Elizabethan cultural imagination.  More...

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Book details

List price: $13.95
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Broadview Press
Publication date: 12/2/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 290
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

First performed by Shakespeare's rivals in the 1590s, Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta was a trend-setting, innovative play whose black comedy and final tragic irony illuminate the darker regions of the Elizabethan cultural imagination. Although Jews were banished from England in 1291, the Jew in the form of Barabas, the play's protagonist, returns on the stage to embody and to challenge the dramatic and cultural anti-Semitic stereotypes out of which he is constructed. The result is a theatrically sophisticated but deeply unsettling play whose rich cultural significance extends beyond the early modern period to the present day.The introduction and historical documents in this edition provide a rich context for the world of the play's composition and production, including materials on Jewishness and anti-Semitism, the political struggles over Malta, and Christopher Marlowe's personal and political reputation.

Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury, England on February 6, 1564, the son of a shoemaker. He was educated at King's School, Canterbury and at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he received a B.A. in 1584 and an M.A. in 1587. His original plans for a religious career were put aside when he decided to become a writer. Marlowe's earliest work was translating Lucan and Ovid from Latin into English. He translated Vergil's Aeneid as a play; this innovation was not printed until after his death. Marlowe's "Tamburlaine the Great" was performed theatrically under primitive conditions. The sequel was presented more professionally in 1587 and "The Jew of Malta" followed soon after, to general acclaim, making him a dramatist of note. Marlowe's plays were produced by the Earl of Nottingham's Company. While Christopher Marlowe's literary life was flowering, his personal life was in an uproar. In 1589, he and a friend killed a man, but were acquitted on a plea of self-defense. Marlowe's political views were unorthodox, and he was thought to be a government secret agent. He was arrested in May of 1593 on a charge of atheism. Christopher Marlowe was killed in a brawl in a Deptford tavern on May 30, 1593 possibly by agents of statesman and Puritan sympathizer Sir Francis Walsingham. As with popular culture figures of today who die young, rumors persisted that Marlowe lived, some say, to write the plays that were attributed to William Shakespeare.

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