The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe
The Jew of Malta is a play written by Christopher Marlowe. It is believed that the first performance of the play dates back to 1590!
Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist and poet born in 1564.
The play is said to have been written in 1589 and published in 1633. That's long after Christopher Marlowe's death.
Researchers and critics describe the play as black or satiric comedy since many events in the play turn tragic. It is in fact filled with blood and murder. Marlowe himself died in mysterious circumstances some three years after he wrote the play.
Some scholars argue that the play was a major source for Shakespeare when he was developing the character of the Jew in The Merchant of Venice. However, there's limited evidence to confirm this.
The play was extremely popular in Renaissance England and was performed lots of times in theatres.
Today, the heavy presence of Jewish stereotypes in the play is often found to be offensive to the audience.
What's the story about? And what is the connection with Malta?
The play centers around Barabas, a Jew who is exiled to the island of Malta. Living in Malta with his daughter Abigail, Barabas is depicted as a very wealthy man as a result of trading in diamonds, sapphires, rubies, silks and other products.
As expected from a Christopher Marlowe play, tragic events begin to unfold one after the other …