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The Jew of Malta
     

The Jew of Malta

4.8 4
by Christopher Marlowe, James R. Siemon
 

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'Tell me worldlings, underneath the sun, If greater falsehood ever has been done'

The Jew of Malta, written around 1590, can present a challenge for modern audiences. Hugely popular in its day, the play swings wildly and rapidly in genre, from pointed satire, to bloody revenge tragedy, to melodrmatic intrigue, to dark farce and grotesque comedy.

Overview

'Tell me worldlings, underneath the sun, If greater falsehood ever has been done'

The Jew of Malta, written around 1590, can present a challenge for modern audiences. Hugely popular in its day, the play swings wildly and rapidly in genre, from pointed satire, to bloody revenge tragedy, to melodrmatic intrigue, to dark farce and grotesque comedy. Although set in the Mediterranean island of Malta, the playevokes contemporary Elizabethan social tensions, especially the highly charged issue of London's much-resented community of resident merchant foreigners. Barabas, the enormously wealthy Jew of the play's title,appears initially victimized by Malta's Christian Governor, who quotes scripture to support the demand that Jews cede their wealth to pay Malta's tribute to the Turks. When he protests, Barabas is deprived of his wealth, his means of livelihood, and his house, which is converted to a nunnery. In response to this hypocritical extortion, Barabas launches a horrific (and sometimes hilarious) course of violence that goes well beyond revenge, using murderous tactics that include everything from deadly soup to poisoned flowers. The play's sometimes complex treatment of anti-Semitism and its relationship to Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice remain matters of continuing scholarly reflection.

This student edition contains a lengthy Introduction with backgroundon the author, date and sources, theme, critical interpretation and stage history, as well as a fully annotated version of the play text in modern spelling.

James R. Siemon is Professor of English at Boston University.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780713677669
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Series:
New Mermaids Series
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,140,320
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.50(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

The editor, James R Siemon is Professor of English Literature at Boston University.

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The Jew of Malta 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That sounds like a good idea too. What if each res or handful of results was a different time period?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ww2 based
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay. So where should we base it? Or should it be all countries that the rpers characters are from?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago