Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Jew of Malta: Introduction
The Jew of Malta: Plot Summary
The Jew of Malta: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Jew of Malta: Themes
The Jew of Malta: Quotes
The Jew of Malta: Characters
The Jew of Malta: Terms
The Jew of Malta: Symbols
The Jew of Malta: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Christopher Marlowe
Historical Context of The Jew of Malta
Other Books Related to The Jew of Malta
- Full Title: The Jew of Malta
- When Written: Likely around 1589
- Where Written: London
- When Published: 1594
- Literary Period: The English Renaissance
- Genre: Revenge Tragedy
- Setting: The island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea.
- Climax: Barabas is betrayed by Ferneze and falls to his death into the boiling cauldron meant for Selim-Calymath.
- Antagonist: Ferneze and the anti-Semitism of 16th-century society.
Extra Credit for The Jew of Malta
Marlowe’s Influence. Marlowe’s influence has remained long after his death. The Wench is Dead, a 1989 novel by English writer Colin Dexter, gets its title from a line in The Jew of Malta, and the same line is also quoted in T.S. Eliot’s prologue to his 1915 poem, “Portrait of a Lady.”
High Crimes. In 1592, Marlowe was arrested in the city of Vlissingen in the Netherlands for counterfeiting coins. The penalty for such fraud was death, but Marlowe again escaped punishment, further fueling conspiracy theories that he was a secret spy working on behalf of the English government and Queen Elizabeth I.