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Critical introductions to a range of literary topics and genres. Tragedies echoed the brutalities and injustices of the time and mirror other features of the age. Exploration was opening up new worlds, the discoveries of science were rapidly expanding knowledge and the country was fiercely divided in matters of religion. Tragedy explores what it is to be human and these anxious, sceptical times fuelled the imagination of Shakespeare and other playwrights. The book considers the tragedies of Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, John Webster and Thomas Middleton and invites the reader to consider how they are still fresh and relevant today.