The Jew of Malta Historical Context

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The Catholic World

In the course of Marlowe's play, the author manages to provide a negative depiction of two major religious groups, the Roman Catholics and the Jews. In both cases, these depictions reflect the general attitude of his English audience toward these two entities. Much of the religious rhetoric in Marlowe's The Jew of Malta reflects the real-life tensions between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, which was formally established by Elizabeth I in 1559. After the formal establishment of the Church of England, some of the tension of the past twenty-five years dissipated, primarily because the queen was more tolerant of religious choice and less likely to endorse the extreme prosecution that Mary I favored. During the brief years of Mary Tudor's reign, 1553-1558, religious intolerance and religiously-inspired murder became commonplace. Mary, who was a Roman Catholic, Immediately reinstated Catholicism as the official religion...

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This section contains 780 words
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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.