Christopher Marlowe’ early modern plays were unequivocally controversial and often seen as testament to his presumed atheism. However, these assumptions focus on the depicted conflicts using religious terms, sometimes overlooking the geopolitical implications of the portrayed demographics. In this project, I argue Marlowe examines not only the religious institutions of early modern England, but also the moral compromises necessitated by England’s colonial endeavors. Through close readings of The Jew of Malta, Tamburlaine, and The Tragic History of Doctor Faustus as well as contributions from various scholarly perspectives, I conclude that Marlowe’s analysis critiques the treatment of religious minorities as others, revealing the similarities between the discourse surrounding religious nonconformity and the discourse used to justify colonization.
Advisor(s) or Committee Chair
Dr. Leila Watkins
English Language and Literature | Literature in English, British Isles
Corum, John, "Targeting Nonconformity in Elizabethan England: Colonial Rhetoric as a Tool of Religious Differentiation" (2015). Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 555.