The Jew of Malta

( 4 )

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 play evokes contemporary Elizabethan social tensions, especially the highly ...

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The Jew of Malta

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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 play evokes 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 background on the author, date and sources, theme, critical interpretation and stage history, as well as a fully annotated version of the playtext in modern spelling.

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

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Editorial Reviews

Richard Allen Cave
"The great strength of Mathew Martin's edition is the ease of access it gives scholars and students to one of Marlowe's strangest and most disturbing plays. He achieves this not simply by exemplary annotations, but by framing Marlowe's text within an introduction and richly informative appendices that place the play securely in its contemporary social, cultural, and political contexts, enabling readers to negotiate complexities of tone and racial attitudes with subtle insight. The effect is precisely to highlight the daring originality of Marlowe's dramatic artistry and his exacting control of both the arts of performance and his audience's responses."
Alan Shepard
"The Jew of Malta is one of early modern England's most controversial plays on its most controversial topic—the collision of world religions. Martin's terrific new edition brilliantly captures the gist of its cut-and-thrust. The introduction offers readers a sophisticated entrée into Anglo-Ottoman relations, European anti-Semitism, theatre history, and Machiavellianism. The edition is elegantly edited, with many resources for readers who want to understand one of Marlowe's greatest plays in its historical milieu."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780713677669
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Series: New Mermaids Series
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 441,616
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Marlowe and Malta
Date and Text
References and Abbreviations
The Jew of Malta 1
Appendix: Epistle, Prologues, and Epilogues 86
Accidental Emendations 89
Commentary 94
Select Bibliography 125
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    WWII

    Thanks~m

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    Blue

    Okay. So where should we base it? Or should it be all countries that the rpers characters are from?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    It should be....

    Ww2 based

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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