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New Mermaids is a series of over sixty modernised and fully annotated classic plays, with an active program of new editions. New Mermaids are edited and updated by experienced teachers who are internationally recognised as authorities in their field. They are ideal for, and accessible to, actors, theatre-goers and students and are printed in a clear, easy-to-use format, with annotations below the text and a comprehensive introduction.
One of the smash hits of the late 1580s and 1590s, Tamburlaine established blank verse as the poetic line of English Renaissance drama, Edward Alleyn as the first English star actor and Marlowe as one of the foremost playwrights of his time.
The rise and fall of a Scythian peasant-warrior who conquers the Middle East and is struck down by illness after burning the books of the Koran is presented in two parts crammed with theatrical splendour and equally spectacular cruelty. Marlowe's original audiences were delighted with the blasphemous and ruthlessly ambitious hero; the introduction to this edition discusses the problems that such a character poses for modern audiences and highlights the undercurrents of the play that lead towards a more ironic interpretation.
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