Inferior Readings: The Transmigration of 'Material' in <i>Tamburlaine the Great</i>
Keywords:Christopher Marlowe, editing, early modern English drama
AbstractThe shaping hand of the modern tradition of editing the Tamburlaine plays suppresses the unruly materialism of the two plays in order to discipline their textual bodies, to impose upon them a pattern of meaning that, curiously for such blasphemous texts, tends towards abstraction and spirituality. The 1597 Marlowe, admittedly as much a figment of the imagination as the author who in 1590 presumably handed a manuscript to Richard Jones, might be skeptical. Marlowe’s ghost—or, more precisely, his 'corrupt' textual remains buried in the 1597 edition of Tamburlaine the Great—offers a spurious, fictional, and definitely erring authority to the unearthing or unleashing of the plays’ materialism.
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