Janette Dillon

in The Oxford Handbook of Tudor Drama

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199566471
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature


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This article analyzes Christopher Marlowe's play, Tamburlaine. The play was one of the first smash hits of English theatre. First performed in 1587–8, it was immediately followed by a sequel, then by printed and reprinted versions, and it was performed, imitated, parodied, and referred to with great familiarity up to and beyond the closing of the theatres in 1642. Tamburlaine was written at a time when religious differences could be a matter of life and death, and hostilities between Catholic and Protestant were being vociferously demonstrated in print and at law. Laws and proclamations issued since 1543 had sought to prevent the theatre from dealing with matters of religious controversy; but the need to keep reissuing such legislation is indicative of its failure to suppress such performance fully.

Keywords: Christopher Marlow; Tudor theatre; plays; English theatre

Article.  7434 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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