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The Jew of Malta Summary
Christopher Marlowe

Everything you need to understand or teach The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe.

  • The Jew of Malta Summary & Study Guide
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The Jew of Malta Summary


Christopher Marlowe's fourth play, The Jew of Malta, is thought to have been performed as early as 1590, although the first recorded performance was in February of 1592. This play was probably written In 1589; however, it was not actually published until 1633, long after Marlowe's death. The title page describes the playas the "Famous Tragedy of the Rich Jew of Malta," but it is also often described as black or satiric comedy, and so, any indication of tragedy is eclipsed. And indeed, Barabas does not elicit the audience's sympathy as a tragic hero, as might be expected. However, in spite of this lack of a tragic hero, the play was very popular in Renaissance England, encompassing as it did attacks on both Roman Catholics and Jews, two favorite objects of distrust. The Jew of Malta was performed many times, both at court and in the theatres of London, prior to the theatres'...

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The Jew of Malta Study Guide

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