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The Jew of Malta

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

The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe is a fascinating historical play that delves into themes of greed, power, and revenge. The protagonist, Barabas, is a complex and morally ambiguous character who is willing to go to extreme lengths to achieve his goals.

Marlowe's writing is both poetic and powerful, with plenty of dramatic tension and intrigue to keep the reader engaged. The play is set against the backdrop of 16th-century Malta, adding to the richness of the story.

One of the standout aspects of the play is its exploration of anti-Semitism and religious conflict. Marlowe does not shy away from portraying the prejudices and stereotypes that existed during this time period, making the play a thought-provoking examination of historical attitudes towards the Jewish community.

Overall, The Jew of Malta is a compelling and thought-provoking play that offers a unique perspective on the complexities of human nature and society. It is a must-read for anyone interested in classic literature and historical drama.

Book Description:

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;” .

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