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The Jew of Malta

The Jew of Malta


by Christopher Marlowe

Analysis: Tough-o-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(6) Tree Line

As Renaissance plays go, this one is actually pretty straightforward. (Really.) But there are a lot of Biblical references and sixteenth-century slang, so make sure you're reading an edition that has decent footnotes. We'll help you out, too.

So why is this Tree Line? Like we said, it's a weird play. Plus, we cannot figure out Barabas. (Although check out his Character Analysis for some of our ideas.) But we still think it's worth it. Marlowe was just as popular, if not more so, than his frenemy Shakespeare—and The Jew Of Malta offers a wacky and hair-raising view into the fears and beliefs of early modern England. How could you say no?

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