Marlovian tragedy is significant due to its newness, Renaissance influence, Machiavellian morality, powerful and passionate expression, element of tragic, inner conflict, its tragic hero, popular literary type, high seriousness, bombastic language and blank verse.
Medieval drama was linked with church and there were only Mysteries and Morality plays but after the rise of a new wave of the Renaissance in
“Before him there was neither genuine blank verse nor a genuine tragedy in our language. After his arrival the way was prepared, the paths were made straight, for Shakespeare.”
Medieval tragedy was a matter of kings or princes and the plot of these tragedies was mainly concerned with the rise and fall of the royal personalities but Marlow has a modern conception of tragic heroes. A Marlovian tragic hero belongs to a humble family but he is a great man because he possesses great qualities. Barabas, the central character of “The Jew of Malta”, possesses all the qualities of typical Marlovian tragic hero. Barabas is not a king or a prince but a common Jew who has got importance in the state of
A typical Marlovian tragedy has a strong influence of Machiavelli, a socio-political writer of
One of the most important features of Marlovian tragedy is that it has the element of inner conflict and a lot of responsibility lies on the character of tragic hero in the occurrence of the tragedy while in ancient tragedy it mainly owes to the unseen hand of blind fate. In “The Jew of Malta” this inner conflict is not so articulate. Ferneeze, in “Jew of Malta” deprives Barabas of all his wealth while Barabas cunningly manages to take back and even becomes himself the governor of
Marlovian tragedy discards the old concepts of tragedy as a medium of teaching conventional morality. His tragedy is born out of the fall of protagonist’s Machiavellian morality caused by some tragic flaw in his character which is responsible for his ruin. Barabas’ revengeful motives are justifiable but the tragic end which Barabas faces in not foreign but his very own fatal mistake causes his ruins.
Marlovian tragedy is also notable for high seriousness and beautiful poetry in mighty blank verse.
“Shakespeare would not have been Shakespeare had Marlowe never written or live. He might not have been altogether the Shakespeare we know.”