Jewish Questions in The Three Ladies of London
AbstractIn the history of portraying Jews on the early modern stage, critics frequently cite Robert Wilson’s The Three Ladies of London as an anomaly. The play’s first modern editor, H.S.D. Mithal, went so far as to describe Gerontus as ‘a character sui generis’, quite unlike Marlowe’s porridge-poisoning Machiavel, Shakespeare’s knife-whetting usurer, and the devilish doctor in Selimus. This essay explores the questions raised by Wilson’s portrayal of Gerontus, paying particular attention to their critical and theatrical implications. What was understood by the term ‘Jew’ and how might Elizabethan audiences have recognized Gerontus as a Jew? Is the play really an anomaly of early modern theatre history?
Contributors to Early Theatre retain full copyright to their content. All published authors are required to grant a limited exclusive license to the journal. According to the terms of this license, authors agree that for one year following publication in Early Theatre, they will not publish their submission elsewhere in the same form, in any language, without the consent of the journal, and without acknowledgment of its initial publication in the journal thereafter.