The Jew of Malta "I Count Religion But A Childish Toy"
by Christopher Marlowe

The Jew of Malta book cover
Start Your Free Trial

"I Count Religion But A Childish Toy"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Download The Jew of Malta Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Context: Machiavel, the speaker of the prologue, tells the audience that his soul has come to England "to view this land," and to present the play about the Jew of Malta, who in many ways favors him. Oscar Wilde (1856-1900) in The Critic as Artist, Part II, says, "There is no sin except stupidity." In this prologue, the idea is expressed as follows:

MACHIAVELThough some speak openly against my books,Yet will they read me, and thereby attainTo Peter's chair; and when they cast me off,Are poison'd by my climbing followers.I count religion but a childish toy,And hold there is no sin but ignorance.