The Jew of Malta - Prologue Summary & Analysis

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Prologue Summary

Christopher Marlowe, an Englishman, wrote in the late 1580s and early 1590s. His play The Jew of Malta was performed for the first time in 1592. Marlowe wrote several plays in which palace intrigues became part of the plot. He was jailed a few times for alleged libel. Marlowe died in a barroom brawl in May of 1593. Other playwrights used some of his plots, and some exact wording may seem familiar to the reader from plays by Shakespeare. During Marlowe's lifetime, religion was tied to political power, and due to the Spanish Inquisition, some Jews fled to Malta.

The character Machevill appears. He is Marlowe's confused interpretation of Machiavelli, who wrote about power and how to get it. In this Prologue, Machevill's spirit praises greed and amoral behavior to obtain and keep power. This character introduces Barabas and relates that he obtained his wealth and miserly ways by...

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This section contains 203 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Jew of Malta Study Guide
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The Jew of Malta from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.