Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus" and "Tamburlaine": Theological and Theatrical Perspectives

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Within the context of Elizabethan critical theories on tragic drama and, more generally, on form and content, style, rhetoric and moral meaning in theatrical performance, Marlowe's major plays raise important questions about the possibility of innovation in poetics and dramaturgy on a stage which was hardly prepared to sustain the subversive self-display of the new Marlovian hero. After discussing two recent approaches (v. Balthasar; Derrida) to the definition of -orthodoxy- and -theology- in drama, Birringer examines the forms of ethical challenge inscribed within the Tamburlaine plays and Dr Faustus. Detailed analyses of the performance dynamics and dramatic styles in Marlowe's plays also help to clarify their particular status in relation to contemporary theatre practice and, especially, Shakespearean drama."

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