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The Jew of Malta

The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe
By: (1564-1593)

Christopher “Kit” Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet, and translator of the Elizabethan era. The foremost Elizabethan tragedian before William Shakespeare, he is known for his magnificent blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his own untimely death.

The Jew of Malta (1589) is an original story of religious conflict, intrigue, and revenge, set against a backdrop of the struggle for supremacy between Spain and the Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean. The Jew of Malta is considered to have been a major influence on William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

The play contains a prologue in which the character Machiavel, a Senecan ghost based on Niccolò Machiavelli, introduces “the tragedy of a Jew.”

Thomas Heywood: The well-known dramatist of the time has included Prologues and Epilogues both for the court and the Cock-Pit theatre “…making choice of you unto whom to devote it;” .

First Page:

THE JEW OF MALTA.

By Christopher Marlowe

Edited By The Rev. Alexander Dyce.

The Famous Tragedy of The Rich Iew of Malta. As it was playd before the King and Qveene, in His Majesties Theatre at White Hall, by her Majesties Servants at the Cock pit. Written by Christopher Marlo. London; Printed by I. B. for Nicholas Vavasour, and are to be sold at his Shop in the Inner Temple, neere the Church. 1633. 4to.

TO MY WORTHY FRIEND, MASTER THOMAS HAMMON, of GRAY'S INN, ETC.

This play, composed by so worthy an author as Master Marlowe, and the part of the Jew presented by so unimitable an actor as Master Alleyn, being in this later age commended to the stage; as I ushered it unto the court, and presented it to the Cock pit, with these Prologues and Epilogues here inserted, so now being newly brought to the press, I was loath it should be published without the ornament of an Epistle; making choice of you unto whom to devote it; than whom (of all those gentlemen and acquaintance within the compass of my long knowledge) there is none more able to tax ignorance, or attribute right to merit... Continue reading book >>


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