Search Results

Tamburlaine the Great

Tamburlaine the Great, Part One and Part Two are the first plays that Christopher Marlowe wrote for London’s then new freestanding, open-air public playhouses. They trace the progress of Tamburlaine, a Central Asian leader, as he “scourge[s] kingdoms with his conquering sword” and rises to imperial power. The plays were a powerful beginning to Marlowe’s…

Doctor Faustus: The B Text

Doctor Faustus is one of early modern English drama’s most fascinating characters, and Doctor Faustus one of its most problematic plays. Selling his soul to Lucifer in return for twenty-four years of power, wealth, knowledge, and sex, Doctor Faustus is at once an aspiring Renaissance magus and the hardened reprobate of Protestant theology. The introduction,…

The Jew of Malta

First performed by Shakespeare’s rivals in the 1590s, Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta was a trend-setting, innovative play whose black comedy and final tragic irony illuminate the darker regions of the Elizabethan cultural imagination. Although Jews were banished from England in 1291, the Jew in the form of Barabas, the play’s protagonist, returns on…

Edward the Second

Depicting with shocking openness the sexual and political violence of its central characters’ fates, Edward the Second broke new dramatic ground in English theatre. The play charts the tragic rise and fall of the medieval English monarch Edward the Second, his favourite Piers Gaveston, and their ambitious opponents Queen Isabella and Mortimer Jr., and is…