Religious Tolerance in Wilson and Marlowe

Mathew R. Martin

This paper considers the figure of the tolerant Turk in Wilson’s The Three Ladies of London and Marlowe’s Tamburlaine plays and The Jew of Malta. Through this figure, Wilson’s and Marlowe’s plays temporarily countenance a notion that early modern culture found as dangerous as sodomy, witchcraft, and atheism: religious tolerance. Although limited by the play’s other concerns, Wilson’s Judge of Turkey demonstrates a religious tolerance that goes beyond demonizing stereotypes of the Turk. Vehicles for more extended explorations of religious tolerance, Marlowe’s Orcanes and Calymath uphold respect for or toleration of religious difference as the basis for constructive international politics. Nonetheless, in the Tamburlaine plays and in The Jew of Malta, the tolerant Turk is only temporarily successful, and the plays conclude with the re-establishment of religious intolerance as the status quo.

Intellectual historians have generally considered religious tolerance to be an invention of the Enlightenment, singling out Pierre Bayle’s Commentaire philosophique sur ces paroles de Jésus Christ: Contrain-les d’entrer (1686) and John Locke’s Letter Concerning Toleration (1689) ‘as providing for the first time a philosophical basis for religious toleration in the modern sense’.1 Earlier scholarship, such as Joseph Lecler’s Toleration and the Reformation, W.K. Jordan’s The Development of Religious Toleration in England, and Quentin Skinner’s magisterial The Foundations of Modern Political Thought sought to document the idea’s roots in Erasmian humanism and strands of Lutheran thought.2 While conceding and often seeking to extend the work of these previous scholars, however, recent studies of the history of religious toleration have stressed the difference between its pre-modern and modern forms. Cary Nederman contends that ‘medieval writing about toleration promotes doctrines standing well outside the now-standard modern, liberal vision ... Whereas the latter believed tolerance to be among the worthy goals of human life, the former held toleration to follow from the unfortunate limits imposed on human beings by their common nature’.3 In early modern Europe, Alexandra Walsham argues, toleration was ‘a strategy to ensure survival and to facilitate restoration to exclusive rule rather than an end in and of itself. When the mantle of authority settled on religious dissidents and rebels, they all too often set aside the rousing rhetoric of liberty they had hitherto employed ... Alternatively, toleration might be a tactical step towards reunification, an interim solution to the problem of religious disunity, an instrument for re-establishing communal peace and political concord’.4 The numerous treatises signed during the French Wars of Religion and culminating in the Edict of Nantes (1598), granting French Huguenots limited rights of worship, are prime examples of this tactical use of toleration. Concluding that in the period religious tolerance was ‘a kind of charitable hatred’, Walsham observes that ‘toleration was a paradoxical policy, a casuistical stance involving a deliberate suspension of righteous hostility and, consequently, a considerable degree of moral discomfort. From the outside looking in, it might look very much like apathy, cowardice and a contemptibly lax and lukewarm commitment to upholding the true religion’.5 If, as Thomas Scanlon asserts, ‘Widespread acceptance of the idea of religious toleration is, at least in North America and Europe, a historical legacy of the European Wars of Religion’,6 it stands in marked contrast to the dominant thinking about religious difference in the early modern European culture that produced those wars.

Early modern European culture had numerous sexual, cultural, and intellectual bugbears such as sodomy, witchcraft, and atheism. Why would religious tolerance be among them? Certainly, religious tolerance might not seem to belong with other notions to which early modern Europeans were hostile, and certainly Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had need of such a notion, especially after the Protestant Reformation, as the French Wars of Religion and then the Thirty Years War demonstrate. The difficulty that the idea might have posed to early modern thought emerges, however, when considered in the light of such modern definitions of toleration as that of Catriona McKinnon, who writes that ‘Toleration is a matter of putting up with that which you oppose: the motto of the tolerant person is “live and let live”, even when what she lets live shocks, enrages, frightens, or disgusts her’.7 Toleration tolerates difference as difference, without seeking to efface it. In contrast, as Walsham observes in relation to early modern England, ‘In a context in which truth was held to be single and indivisible, the persecution of dissident minorities was logical, rational and legitimate. Ecclesiastical and secular authorities were believed to have a solemn responsibility to punish those who departed from orthodoxy, to use any means necessary to uphold the true religion and reclaim those who strayed from the straight and narrow way’.81 Religious tolerance, moreover, was a difficult and potentially dangerous idea because to countenance it, in its radical form at least, would be to call into question the foundations of dominant early modern conceptualizations of political power, which conflated political and religious unity and authority. Jean Bodin, whom Skinner describes as a ‘moderate Catholic’,9 argues in his Six Books of a Commonweal (1576) that ‘seeing that disputations of religion bring not only the doubt and ouerthrow of religions, but euen the ruine and destruction of Commonweales also; it behooueth them to be by most strait lawes forbidden’.10 Conversely, Bodin asserts ‘That there is nothing which doth more vphold and maintaine the estates and Commonweals than religion: and that it is the principall foundation of the power and strength of monarchies and Seignories: as also for the execution of justice, for the obedience of the subiects, the reuerence of the magistrats, for the feare of doing euill, and for the mutuall loue and amitie of euery one towards other, it is by most strait and seuere lawes to be prouided’.11 In Elizabethan England, of course, Bodin’s position was actual political fact: the Act of Supremacy (1559), the Act of Uniformity (1559), and the Thirty-Nine Articles (1563) conflated religious and political authority in Elizabeth as the ‘Supreme Governor of the Church’12 as well as of the state and made deviation from the ritual and dogmatic uniformity that she had ordained a crime. In 1571 the bishop of London, Edwin Sandys, stated the case succinctly: ‘This liberty, that men may openly profess diversity of religion, must needs be dangerous ... One god, one king, one faith, one profession, is fit for one monarchy and commonwealth. Division weakeneth; concord strengtheneth ... Let conformity and unity in religion be provided for; and it shall be as a wall of defence unto this realm’.13 Visible expressions of real religious difference detracted from the power of the sovereign, threatened the stability of the commonwealth, and therefore could not be countenanced. Hence the persecution of the Puritans as well as the Catholics during the latter decades of Elizabeth’s reign.

What early modern Europe lacked, then, was a positive conceptualization of the completely secular state, within which religious differences could coexist tolerantly if not always comfortably. Nonetheless, early modern Europeans had an example close at hand, perhaps too close at hand, of a state in which religious differences were tolerated: the Ottoman Empire. By the seventeenth century, the Ottoman Empire comprised numerous heteroglot regions with several different religions on the three different continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa.14 Colin Imber writes that ‘The population of the Empire was heterogeneous in religion, language, and social structure. As the faith of the sultans and of the ruling élite, Islam was the dominant religion, but the Greek and Armenian Orthodox churches retained an important place within the political structure of the Empire, and ministered to large Christian populations which, in many areas, outnumbered Muslims. There was also a substantial population of Ottoman Jews’.15 Religious minorities were not persecuted but allowed considerable self-governance, including establishing their own legal systems.16 Imber notes that ‘Muslims alone could achieve political office, but even here Muslim descent was unnecessary. Many, if not most, political office holders were first- or second-generation converts from Christianity’.17 This aspect of their feared neighbour’s polity did not pass by early modern European eyes unnoticed and unremarked. Although committed to religious uniformity, Bodin in Six Books of a Commonweal still records with ‘open admiration’18 that

‘The great Emperour of the Turkes doth with as great deuotion as any prince in the world honour and obserue the religion by him receiued from his auncestours, and yet detesteth hee not the straunge religions of others; but to the contrarie permitteth euery man to liue according to his conscience: yea and that more is, neere vnto his pallace at Pera, suffereth foure diuers religions, viz. That of the Iewes, that of the Christians, that of the Grecians, and that of the Mahometanes: and besides that, sendeth almes vnto the Calogers or religious Monkes, dwelling vppon the mountaine Athos (being Christians) to pray for him’.19

Significantly, by 1597 early modern Londoners would have access to another example of Eastern religious tolerance: Tamburlaine. Published in French in 1595 and in English translation in 1597, Jean Dubec-Crespin’s The History of the Great Emperor Tamerlan presents the conqueror as a figure of remarkable religious tolerance. In Dubec-Crespin’s account, Tamburlaine himself is a religious eclectic, and his right-hand man Axalla is Christian. When asked why ‘he did not constrain with the sword all religions to embrace his’, Tamburlaine replies, ‘I will never do it. For I cannot believe but God is delighted with the diversity of religion ... This is the cause wherefore I suffer within my dominions everyone to worship God in any manner whatesoever’.20

Elizabethans had their attention directed towards the East and the Ottoman Empire for a number of reasons. The Ottoman Empire demonstrated its geopolitical significance in such military events as the siege of Malta (1565) and the battle of Lepanto (1571), prompting Elizabeth to seek closer military, diplomatic, and commercial ties with the Ottomans, partly as a way to counterbalance the threat of Spanish hegemony in Europe.21 William Harborne’s embassy to the Porte in 1578 culminated in an exchange of letters between Murad III and Elizabeth in 1579-80, in which each granted trading privileges to the others’ subjects, and in the chartering of the Levant Trading Company in 1581.22 Considerable recent scholarly work has been done studying the ways in which early modern English professional drama registered the Ottoman Empire’s presence in the Elizabethan field of cultural vision. Rejecting the applicability of a rigid Orientalist paradigm to an era in which the English were the subordinate partners in their relations with the Ottomans, scholars such as Daniel Vitkus, Jonathan Burton, Matthew Dimmock, and Linda McJannet argue that ‘English cultural production had to work to compensate for this anxious marginality felt in relation to the Mediterranean cultural center’,23 generating on stage the dramatic character of the Turk, ‘a figure of both war and commerce, vitally interwoven with domestic and global concerns in the complex fabric of English culture’.24 In the pre-Orientalist context of early modern England’s relationship to the Ottoman Empire, the drama can be seen to be registering the fluid power dynamics of that relationship and the anxieties that it caused in the various, often stereotypical, and often contradictory representations of the Turk it offered to its audiences. Moreover, the Turk, along with other Others, can be seen as a screen for displaced desires and anxieties concerning notions of Englishness and internal English otherness. Marlowe’s drama, especially the Tamburlaine plays, is frequently accorded a central position in the development of the dramatic figure of the Turk. Mark Hutchings, for example, contends that the Tamburlaine plays’ ‘new aesthetic (and its suitability for staging tyrannous sultans) led directly and indirectly to the rapid growth of the Turkish genre in the London repertories’.25 As Hutchings’s comment suggests, Elizabethan drama often developed the figure of the Turk into such stereotypes as the bragging Turk (Marlowe’s Bajazeth) or the cruel Turk (Greene’s Selimus), and critics have tended to focus on these stereotypes as expressions of both English fear and English admiration and envy.26 Although considerably less prominent than these stereotypes, however, the tolerant Turk does make an appearance in early modern English drama, providing Elizabethan culture with the opportunity to consider, even if only briefly and in displaced form, the notion of religious tolerance.

The Three Ladies of London’s Judge of Turkey offers an early adumbration of the tolerant Turk. Appearing in scene 14 of the play, the scene in which Gerontus attempts to prosecute Mercadore for defaulting on his loan, the Judge of Turkey is a civic rather than military or religious figure. Presiding over a dispute between a Jew and a Christian, he at least initially exhibits no hostility to either religion, treating Gerontus and Mercadore as equals before ‘the law of our realm’.27 Nonetheless, the Turkish Judge functions mainly as a vehicle through which the play advances its critique of the economic and moral corruption of Christian London. Significantly, the ‘law of our realm’ being enforced in this particular instance establishes a kind of religious freedom, the freedom to convert to Islam, that only furthers the vice characters’ goal of corrupting Christian London economically and morally: ‘if any man forsake his faith, king, country, and become a Mahomet, / All debts are paid’ (14-15), the Judge declares. Because Gerontus forgives Mercadore’s debt, Mercadore does not need to take advantage of this law, but he is fully prepared to do so; either way, he scams Gerontus of three thousand ducats, thereby adding to the profit Lady Lucre makes by importing ‘vain toys’ (5.95) from ‘Barbary or Turkey’ (92) for sale to English ‘gentlewomans’ (95). Lloyd Kermode remarks that ‘in spite of the goodness of the Turkish Jew [Gerontus], it is still his money that permits the corruption of England at the hands of the Italian Mercadorus’.28 Similarly, in spite of its general tolerance of religious difference, Ottoman law as dramatized in the play only furthers England’s ruin (as well as facilitating Christian apostasy). Moreover, although the Judge’s concluding observation that ‘Jews seek to excel in Christianity, and Christians in Jewishness’ (14.49) marks a distinction between religious identity and the ethical (or unethical) conduct that is truly pertinent to the operation of the law, it also ‘use[s] “Jewishness” as a benchmark of stereotypically lucre-driven bad behaviour’,29 its ostensible blurring of religious identities carrying a shaming or satirical rhetorical force that ultimately calls for the reinforcement of such derogatory stereotypes.

Figures of the tolerant Turk appear far more prominently in Marlowe’s drama than in The Three Ladies of London. For all that they are held to have begun a trend for plays featuring bragging Turks and other obnoxious Turkish stereotypes, Marlowe’s plays use the figure of the tolerant Turk to explore some of the complexities of religious tolerance. McJannet argues that ‘While commentators have credited Marlowe with (or more recently faulted him for) creating the dramatic types of “the raging Turk” or “the cruel Tartar,” his real accomplishment was to free these characters from the containing narratives and moralizing glosses of Christian humanist history’.30 I want both to follow up and to qualify McJannet’s general contention with the argument that in Marlowe’s plays the figure of the Turk enables, but only temporarily, the consideration of religious difference without demonization. Specifically, in the Tamburlaine plays and The Jew of Malta, the idea of religious tolerance as the ground for real political action is raised through the figure of the Turk, only in both cases to be rejected in its radical form by the end of the play, which re-entrenches the refusal to recognize and tolerate religious difference as difference.

As in his play about the French Wars of Religion, The Massacre at Paris, so too in Marlowe’s Tamburlaine plays is the large-scale violence of slaughter and warfare motivated at a fundamental level by religious intolerance. Persians, Turks, Scythians, and Europeans mobilize religious difference to construct their geopolitical others as enemies to be annihilated. Religious difference is an incitement to war and must be effaced by war. In 1 Tamburlaine this provocation emerges most prominently in the confrontation between Tamburlaine and the Turkish Emperor Bajazeth. Bajazeth is clearly identified as Islamic: he swears by ‘holy Mahomet’ (3.1.54) and ‘the holy Alcoran’ (3.3.76), for example.31 He directs his belligerence expressly against Christians: diverted from his siege of Constantinople in 3.1, Bajazeth laments his defeat by Tamburlaine in 3.3 in terms that explicitly present his military activities as religious warfare against infidels. ‘Now will the Christian miscreants be glad, / Ringing with joy their superstitious bells / And making bonfires for my overthrow’ (236-8), he complains before vowing that ‘ere I die, those foul idolaters / Shall make me bonfires with their filthy bones’ (239-40) if ever he can ‘make me sovereign of the earth again’ (243). Tamburlaine’s religious identity is less clearly demarcated. Burton argues that Tamburlaine’s relationship to Islam shifts from 1 Tamburlaine to 2 Tamburlaine: ‘when he is Europe’s protector, Tamburlaine is distanced from Islam. When Europe is secure, Tamburlaine’s brutality and Muslim identity emerge together as if congenitally linked. The play’s pattern of shifting, triangulated representation thus corresponds with the conditional activation and suspension of Turkish religious difference apparent in Elizabethan-Ottoman affairs’.32 In the conflict with Bajazeth, Tamburlaine as Christendom’s rescuer is, as Burton contends, distanced from the Islam that so heavily marks Bajazeth. Instead, he has enlisted on the other side of the religious conflict as ‘the Scourge and Wrath of God’ (3.3.44) who ‘Will first subdue the Turk and then enlarge / Those Christian captives which you keep as slaves’ (46-7). I am less convinced than Burton, however, that Tamburlaine’s religious identity shifts to an espousal of Islam by the end of 2 Tamburlaine. Indeed, as he prepares to burn the Qur’an in 5.2 of 2 Tamburlaine, Tamburlaine describes his atrocities as acts of religious violence directed specifically against Islam. ‘In vain I see men worship Mahomet’, he declares, ‘My sword hath sent millions of Turks to hell, / Slew all his priests, his kinsmen, and his friends, / And yet I live untouched by Mahomet’ (5.2.115-18). Nonetheless, throughout the Tamburlaine plays, the violence of both Tamburlaine and his opponents is motivated by and reinforces religious intolerance.

Against this backdrop of religiously motivated violence that would have been so familiar to early modern audiences, however, 2 Tamburlaine dramatizes a brief moment of religious toleration, mediated by a Turk and almost immediately betrayed by a Christian. 2 Tamburlaine opens with the signing of a truce between Orcanes, king of Natolia and provisional leader of the Turks, and Sigismond, king of Hungary and leader of the European military coalition. The conflict between the two groups is framed in explicitly religious terms: ‘shall we parley with the Christian’, Orcanes asks his advisors, ‘Or cross the stream and meet him in the field?’ (11-12). Both sides opt for a truce and, remarkably, ratify it on the basis of the recognition of religious difference as difference. Sigismond swears by ‘The Son of God’ (1.1.134) to ‘keep this peace inviolable’ (136), while Orcanes vows ‘to keep this truce inviolable’ (142) ‘By sacred Mahomet, the friend of God, / Whose holy Alcoran remains with us’ (137-8). Unlike the letters exchanged between Murad and Elizabeth in 1579-80, which seek to find religious common ground by invoking a God ‘who only is above all things and all men, and is a most severe revenger of all idolatry, and is jealous of his honour against the false gods of the nations’,33 the oaths of Orcanes and Sigismond highlight the differences between Islam and Christianity. An early modern Christian would be unlikely to concede either that Mahomet was God’s friend or that the Qur’an was a sacred text, while Islam explicitly rejects the idea that Jesus is the divine Son of God, however much it might honour Jesus as a prophet. In the opening scene of 2 Tamburlaine, then, the recognition and toleration of religious difference is made the basis for the real political action of an international peace treaty that is intended to halt the actrocities of war. The moment does not last. Sigismond’s advisors remind him of the ‘cruel slaughter of our Christian bloods / These heathenish Turks and pagans lately made’ (2.1.5-6), assure him that it is not morally wrong to break his oath to ‘such infidels, / In whom no faith or true religion rests’ (33-4), and threaten that he will suffer ‘the vengeance of the Highest’ (56) should he ‘not kill and curse at God’s command’ (55). Sigismond then orders the recommencement of religious war: ‘Then arm, my lords, and issue suddenly, / Giving commandment to our general host / With expedition to assail the pagan / And take the victory our God hath given’ (59-62). Sigismond’s ambush attack fails, but the play does not further countenance the idea of the toleration of religious difference as difference. Rather, as Tamburlaine burns the Qur’an at the end of the play, he declares to his soldiers that ‘Mahomet remains in hell’ (5.2.134) and urges them to ‘Seek out another godhead to adore, / The God that sits in heaven, if any God, / For he is God alone, and none but he’ (136-8). To establish a new God, no matter how abstract and all-encompassing, requires sending the old ones to hell first; the new God claims exclusive rights to human worship, just as did the ones that he displaced. The religious toleration dramatized in the play’s opening scene is here at its conclusion emphatically rejected; the endless pursuit of the true God expresses itself as relentless religious war.

The foregoing analysis provides a framework within which we might reassess the figure of the Turk in Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta. In Emily Bartel’s influential reading of the play, which focuses on the adroitness with which Ferneze ‘exchanges a place as the colonized for a place as the colonizer, displacing his powerlessness onto an other ... as a strategic defense against his own disempowerment’,34 Turkey and Spain are the mirroring imperial powers between whom Ferneze must negotiate. The play, however, represents the Ottomans and the Spanish very differently, specifically in their differing attitudes towards religious difference. The entire action of the play turns on an interfaith treaty between the Ottomans and the Maltese by which the Maltese retain their autonomy in return for tribute paid to the Ottomans (1.1.177).35 When the Ottoman Emperor’s son, ‘Great Selim-Calymath’ (1.2.40), arrives in Malta to collect ‘The ten years’ tribute that remains unpaid’ (1.2.7), he is polite but strictly business, although he generously grants Ferneze and his knights a month to collect the money owed (1.2.28). Significantly, Calymath does not mention religion, let alone invoke religious difference as a pretext for his actions, and he provides the Maltese with an opportunity to preserve this treaty between Muslims and Christians even though they have clearly failed to honour their end of it. Contrast this to the rhetoric Ferneze uses when extorting the tribute money from Malta’s Jewish community. When Barabas asks whether Ferneze intends that the Jewish community should contribute ‘equally’ (1.2.62) with Malta’s other denizens, Ferneze replies:

No, Jew, like infidels.
For through our suff’rance of your hateful lives,
Who stand accursèd in the sight of heaven,
These taxes and afflictions are befall’n’. (62-5)

Consider also the Spanish Vice-Admiral Del-Bosco’s reaction upon being informed of the treaty between Malta and the Ottomans:

Will knights of Malta be in league with Turks,
And buy it basely too for sums of gold?
My lord, remember that, to Europe’s shame,
The Christian isle of Rhodes, from whence you came,
Was lately lost, and you were stated here
To be at deadly emnity with Turks. (2.2.28-33)

Like Sigismond’s advisors, Del Bosco succeeds with his belligerent rhetoric of religious intolerance in persuading the knights of Malta to break their treaty with the Ottomans. Like 2 Tamburlaine, The Jew of Malta begins with a treaty between Muslims and Christians; this international interfaith treaty is upheld by a Turk who either respects religious differences or does not consider them important and violated by Christians who use the rhetoric of religious difference either to persecute others or to justify engaging in war. As in 2 Tamburlaine, the tolerant Turk is initially successful: Malta (unhistorically) falls to Ottoman forces, and Barabas the Jew is appointed its governor. Yet perhaps even more emphatically than 2 Tamburlaine does The Jew of Malta conclude with the reinscription of religious intolerance. Rejecting Calymath’s offer to ‘go to Turkey / In person there to mediate your peace’ (5.5.115-16), Ferneze pronounces Calymath his prisoner then invokes divine providence (not his own superior treachery) as the cause of his ultimate, and unlikely, victory: ‘let due praise be given / Neither to fate nor fortune, but to heaven’ (123-4). The tolerant Turk who mediates interfaith peace treaties has become the hostage of Malta’s chief religious bigot; peaceful interfaith relations have been, once again, replaced by religious war.

2 Tamburlaine and The Jew of Malta far more extensively than Wilson’s Three Ladies of London explore the figure of the tolerant Turk. Even so, the figure’s presence in all three plays indicates that the early modern English cultural reception of the Ottoman empire was capable at least occasionally of advancing beyond the purely binary thinking that led to the creation of various derogatory and demonizing stereotypes of the Turk. If Wilson’s play is content to use the Judge of Turkey as merely a device through which to further his critique of Christian London, it nonetheless registers an awareness of the complex interconnectedness of England and such religiously different spaces as the Ottoman empire, a space in which at least a limited form of religious toleration was institutionalized. Conversely, although 2 Tamburlaine and The Jew of Malta raise the idea of religious tolerance as the ground for real political action through the figures of Orcanes and Selim-Calymath, in each case religious tolerance is rejected in its radical form by the end of the play, which re-entrenches the refusal to recognize and tolerate religious difference as difference.


[1] Benjamin J. Kaplan, Divided By Faith: Religious Conflict and the Practice of Toleration (Cambridge, MA, 2007), 334.

[2] Joseph Lecler, Toleration and the Reformation, trans. T.L. Westow, 2 vols (New York, 1960); W.K. Jordan, The Development of Religious Toleration in England (Gloucester, MA, 1965); Quentin Skinner, The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, 2 vols (Cambridge, 1978).

[3] Cary J. Nederman, Worlds of Difference: European Discourses of Toleration c. 1100-c.1550 (University Park, PA, 2000), 9.

[4] Alexandra Walsham, Charitable Hatred: Tolerance and Intolerance in England, 1500-1700 (Manchester, 2006), 3-4.

[5] Ibid, 4.

[6] Thomas Scanlon, The Difficulty of Tolerance: Essays in Political Philosophy (Cambridge, 2003), 188.

[7] Catriona McKinnon, Toleration: A Critical Introduction (New York, 2006), 3.

[8] Walsham, Charitable Hatred, 1.

[9] Skinner, Foundations of Modern Political Thought, 253.

[10] Jean Bodin, The Six Bookes of a Commonweale, trans. Richard Knolles (London, 1606), 537, qtd Skinner 253.

[11] Ibid.

[12] John Guy, Tudor England (Oxford, 1988), 261.

[13] Qtd Walsham, Charitable Hatred, 39-40.

[14] Colin Imber, The Ottoman Empire, 2nd edn (New York, 2009), 1-3.

[15] Ibid, 1.

[16] Ibid, 204-5.

[17] Ibid, 2.

[18] Daniel Goffman, The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 2002), 111.

[19] Bodin, 538, qtd Goffman, The Ottoman Empire, 111.

[20] Jean Dubec-Crespin, The History of the Great Emperor Tamerlan, in Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine the Great Part One and Part Two, ed. Mathew R. Martin (Peterborough, ON, 2014), 298.

[21] Nabal Matar, Islam in Britain 1558-1685 (Cambridge, 1998), 123-4.

[22] Matthew Dimmock, New Turkes: Dramatizing Islam and the Ottomans in Early Modern England (Aldershot, VT, 2005), 87-9.

[23] Daniel Vitkus, Turning Turk: English Theatre and the Multicultural Mediterranean, 1570-1630 (Basingstoke, 2003), 39.

[24] Jonathan Burton, Traffic and Turning: Islam and English Drama, 1579-1624 (Newark, NJ, 2005), 34.

[25] Mark Hutchings, ‘The “Turk Phenomenon” and the Repertory of the Late Elizabethan Playhouse’, Early Modern Literary Studies 13.2 (October 2007), 6.

[26] Emily Bartels, ‘Malta, the Jew, and Fictions of Difference: Colonialist Discourse in Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta’, English Literary Renaissance 20.1 (1990), 5.

[27] Robert Wilson, The Three Ladies of London, Lloyd Edward Kermode (ed.), Three Renaissance Usury Plays (Manchester, 2009), 14.16. All subsequent citations of the play are from this edition and are cited parenthetically in the text.

[28] Lloyd Edward Kermode, ‘Introduction’, in Three Renaissance Usury Plays, 35.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Linda McJannet, The Sultan Speaks: Dialogue in English Plays and Histories about the Ottoman Turks (New York, 2006), 89.

[31] All references to 1 and 2 Tamburlaine are to Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine the Great Part One and Part Two, ed. Mathew R. Martin, cited above in n20.

[32] Burton, Traffic and Turning, 79.

[33] Elizabeth I, ‘The answer of her Majesty to the aforesaid letters of the Great Turk’, in Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta, ed. Mathew R. Martin (Peterborough, ON, 2012), 243.

[34] Bartels, ‘Malta, the Jew, and Fictions of Difference’, 8.

[35] All references to The Jew of Malta are to my edition, cited in n33.