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Usually considered to be John Marston's masterpiece, The Malcontent is one of the most original and complex plays of the Elizabethan theatre - complex in genre, structure and language. A major reason for the play's pre-eminence lies in the balance it achieves between the opposite claims of laughter and horror which elsewhere in Marston's work show a less stable relationship. This edition, using the same authoritative text as the standard Revels edition has notes designed for modern undergraduate use. The introduction has been rewritten to take into account the most recent scholarship.
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Keith Sturgess was formerly Emeritus Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Lancaster and Director of the Nuffield Theatre. He is author of a dozen original plays and now lives in Greece where he works as a full-time writer. He has also published several editions of Elizabethan/Jacobean plays and books on the reconstruction of Elizabethan playhouses and has directed a number of productions of plays of the period. John Marston (?1575-1634) began to write satirical verse and plays for the new professional children's companies, playing at private indoor theatres. His quarrel with Jonson resulted in his portrayal as Crispinus in The Poetaster, but the two became friends again. He collaborated with Jonson and Chapman on Eastward Ho! (1605) which got the playwrights into trouble with the king. But from 1609, he was ordained deacon and then priest and his involvement with provocative drama ceased.
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