The Jew of Malta: A Critical Reader

edited by Robert A. Logan

DOI: 10.5040/9781408191552

ISBN: 9781441110794

Christopher Marlowe's drama, The Jew of Malta, has become an increasingly popular source for scholarly scrutiny, staged productions, and, most recently, a filmed version. The play follows the sometimes tragic, sometimes comic, often outrageous fortunes of its villainous protagonist, the Jew Barabas. In recent years the play has provoked as much interpretive controversy as any work in the Marlowe canon. This unique volume is therefore especially timely, providing fresh, varied approaches to the many enigmatic elements of the play.

Logan identifies three key interpretative cruxes that continue to preoccupy those studying The Jew of Malta: the extent of Marlowe's familiarity with Machiavelli and his works; the vexed issue of the play's genre; and the problems faced in arriving at a coherent understanding of the character of Barabas. Such questions provide an important context for the chapters that follow, which together offer a clear, concise, and accessible overview of the play's reception history in criticism and performance, designed primarily for students and teachers. Year's Work in English Studies