Christopher Marlowe

  • Born February 26, 1564 in Canterbury, United Kingdom
  • Informally known as "Kit Marlowe"
  • Attended Kings School of Canterbury
  • Obtained scholarship at the                                          Corpus Christi College of Cambridge
  • Purportedly operated as a spy for Sir Francis Walsingham's intelligence service
  • Deceased May 30, 1593; (annual festival of Hecate) in Deptford, United Kingdom

  • erudite but supercillious individual
  • held M.A in theology
  • translator, poet, playwright
  • most distinguished tragedian of his time
  • arcane character
  • homosexual
  • plethoric
  • controversial

Literary contributions

  • literary career  lasted for 6 yrs.
  • introduction of the blankverse (i.e Iambic pentameter = a line comprised of ten syllables in which each unstressed syllable is superceeded by a stressed one.

"Not marching now in fields of Trasimene,

Where Mars did mate the Carthaginians,"

  • creation of the contemporary tragedy

  • incorporation of comic scenes spawned unprecedented stylistic amalgam
  • spurred universal consciousness                    
  • --> engendered patriotic - counter - nationalist literature and sentiment
  • crafted witty paragon of female learning


Famous Works by Christopher Marlowe:

"Tamburlaine"; (1578)

"The Jew of Malta"; (1589 - 1590)

"Dr Faustus"; (1592)

"Edward II"; (1593)

"The Massacre at Paris."; (1593)

  • renowned for exotic far - flung settings

Marlowe & Shakespeare

Some suspect certain acts, officially attributed to Shakespeare, to have been written either wholly or partially  by Christopher Marlowe

  •  [Henry VI, Parts I, II, and III, Robert III] 
Patent stylistic parallels

Numerous Marlowean characters "morphed" into those of Shakespeare

  • Tamburlaine and Titus, Barabas and Shylock etc.
  • “The poems are full of echoes of each other, theme, arguments, phrases, whole passages." (Harper & Row)

  • exact stylometric accordance
  • shared fondness for the "Pyrrhic foot"
  • tripartite dramatic structure (i.e plot, overplot, subplot)
  • Δhapax legomena = 1%


  • arrested by Privy Council on accounts of alleged coin forging and heresy.
  • fatally stabbed between the eyes by Ingram Frizer           ( alleged secret agent) during espionage symposium. 

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by sallypukii


Public - 5/29/16, 4:33 AM