Abstract and Keywords
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.
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