'Come to my house': The Architecture of Conversion and Marlowe's The Jew of Malta

Shinn, Abigail. 2023. 'Come to my house': The Architecture of Conversion and Marlowe's The Jew of Malta. Modern Philology, 120(4), pp. 419-443. ISSN 0026-8232 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article highlights the importance of the architecture of conversion for Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta. Placing particular emphasis on the word ‘house’ and its affiliate term ‘threshold’, I situate the drama within the context of Reformation adaptations, including the founding of playhouses and stranger churches within ex-monastic buildings. Foregrounding the play’s fascination with the mercurial and protean energies of architectural conversion, rather than charting more familiar processes of ruination, nostalgia, and loss, the article emphasises the religious polyvalency of Barabas’s house and connects its thresholds to the performance of conversion in different contexts. The Jew of Malta makes imaginative use of the complex dilemmas posed by converted structures, making visible the uncomfortable and inconvenient instabilities that they manifest.

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English and Comparative Literature


9 January 2023Accepted
21 April 2023Published

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Date Deposited:

16 Jun 2022 11:13

Last Modified:

20 Apr 2024 01:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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