It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
A guide for scholars interested in the study of Shakespeare's life and works
Christopher Marlowe was born the son of a prosperous shoemaker in Canterbury, England, and was baptized on February 26, 1564, but his actual date of birth is unknown. He received his early education at the King's School in Canterbury and was later awarded a scholarship to study at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Scholars recognize Marlowe as the first English dramatist to reveal the full potential of blank verse poetry, and as one who made significant advances in the genre of English tragedy through keen examinations of Renaissance morality. Marlowe wrote during the Elizabethan period, a time of change and uncertainty. The spirit of the age was marked by both the Renaissance and the Reformation. This was a time when society had begun to loose itself from medieval institutions and to celebrate the ascendancy of the individual. Marlowe witnessed these developments first-hand and began to explore the potential consequences of this newfound freedom. The dangers of excessive ambition abd the apparent compulsion to strive for more than one already has forms a major theme in Marlowe's plays. Although his achievements have been generally overshadowed by his exact contemporary, William Shakespeare, many critics contend that had he not died young, Marlowe's reputation would certainly have rivaled that of the more famous playwright.
Excerpted from Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800. Ed. James E. Person. Vol. 22. Detroit: Gale Research, 1993. p325-402.
A sampling of books related to Christopher Marlowe
Instead of asserting any alleged rivalry between Marlowe and Shakespeare, Sawyer examines the literary reception of the two when the writers are placed in tandem during critical discourse or artistic production. Focusing on specific examples from the last 400 years, the study begins with Robert Greene's comments in 1592 and ends with the post-9/11 and 7/7 era.
Call Number: PR2677.D47 T76 1998 and Electronic resource
Examining Marlowe's plays and his major poems, Tromly uses Renaissance mythography, a study of literary sources (especially Ovid), performance history, and social history to demonstrate the centrality of the Tantalus myth to Marlowe?s imagination.
Call Number: PR2674 .D79 2015 and Electronic resource
In this sustained full length study of Marlowe's plays, Andrew Duxfield argues that Marlovian drama exhibits a marked interest in unity and unification, and that in doing so it engages with a discourse of anxiety over social discord that was prominent in the 1580s and 1590s.The book considers the plays' focus on unity in relation to their marked ambiguity; throughout all of the plays, unifying ideals and reductive processes are consistently subject to renegotiation with, or undercut entirely by, the complexity and ambiguity of the dramas in which they feature. Duxfield's focus on unity as a theme throughout the plays provides a new lens through which to examine the place of Marlowe's work in its cultural moment.
Call Number: PR2678 .M87 2013 and Electronic resource
In The Marlowe-Shakespeare Continuum, Donna N. Murphy demonstrates how Marlowe, sometimes in co-authorship with humorist Nashe, appears to have "become" Shakespeare on a linguistic basis. She documents a sharp, upward learning curve, with the initial penning of works she examines in the following chronological order: Caesar's Revenge, Henry VI, The Taming of a Shrew, Henry VI, Edward III, Titus Andronicus, Thomas of Woodstock, Romeo and Juliet, and Henry IV, and separates certain plays into Marlowe and Nashe components. Those who read Murphy's book with an open mind will find her work surprisingly convincing.
Call Number: PR2823 .H55 2010 and Electronic resource
Richard Hillman applies to tragic patterns and practices in early modern England his long-standing critical preoccupation with English-French cultural connections in the period. With primary, though not exclusive, reference on the English side to Shakespeare and Marlowe, and on the French side to a wide range of dramatic and non-dramatic material, he focuses on distinctive elements that emerge within the English tragedy of the 1590s and early 1600s. These include the self-destructive tragic hero, the apparatus of neo-Senecanism (including the Machiavellian villain) and the confrontation between the warrior-hero and the femme fatale.
Contending that criticism of Marlowe's plays has been limited by humanist conceptions of tragedy, this book engages with trauma theory, especially psychoanalytic trauma theory, to offer a fresh critical perspective within which to make sense of the tension in Marlowe's plays between the tragic and the traumatic. The author argues that tragedies are trauma narratives, narratives of wounding; however, in Marlowe's plays, a traumatic aesthetics disrupts the closure that tragedy seeks to enact. Martin's fresh reading of Massacre at Paris, which is often dismissed by critics as a bad tragedy, presents the play as deliberately breaking the conventions of the tragic genre in order to enact a traumatic aesthetics that pulls its audience into one of the early modern period's most notorious collective traumatic events, the massacre of French Huguenots in Paris in 1572. The chapters on Marlowe's six other plays similarly argue that throughout Marlowe's drama tragedy is held in tension with-and disrupted by-the aesthetics of trauma.
Marlowe and the Popular Tradition turns away from popular stereotypes to consider Marlowe as a popular dramatist who inherited an audience with certain expectations and shared experiences. This work explores Marlowe's engagement with the traditions of the popular stage in the 1580's and early 1590's. It offers a new approach to his major plays in terms of staging and audience response, as well as providing a new account of the English drama in these important but largely neglected years.
This book offers a lively introduction to all of the plays of Christopher Marlowe and to the central concerns of his age, many of which are still important to us& mdash;religious uncertainty, the clash between Islam and Christianity, ideas of sexuality, and the role of the marginalised inidividual in society. Each chapter focuses on a specific aspect of Marlowe's work and its cultural contexts: Marlowe's life and death; the Marlowe canon; the theatrical contexts and stage history of the plays; Marlowe's interest in old and new branches of knowledge; the ways in which he transgresses against established norms and values; and the major issues which have been raised in critical discussions of his plays.
Doctor Faustus, restless for knowledge, forsakes scholarship for magic and makes a pact with the Devil: if the veil spirit Mephistopheles will serve him for 24 years, Faustus will yield his soul to the Devil after death. It isn't long before Faustus has doubts about the bargain, but Mephistopheles has plenty of entertainment at hand to distract Faustus from the terrifying reality of his position and the prospect of its agonizing conclusion. In Doctor Faustus, the greatest tragedy in English before Shakespeare, Marlowe puts some of the finest poetry ever written for the stage and a good deal of anarchic comedy at the service of a mythic tale illustrating mankind's insatiable desire for knowledge and power. Featuring Paul Hilton as Faustus and Arthur Darvill as Mephistopheles.
One of the smash hits of the late 1580s and 90s,Tamburlaine established blank verse as the poetic line of English Renaissance drama, Edward Alleyn as the first English star actor and Marlowe as one of the foremost playwrights of his time. The rise and fall of a Scythian peasant-warrior who conquers the Middle East and is struck down by illness after burning the books of the Koran is presented in two parts crammed with theatrical splendour and equally spectacular cruelty. Marlowe's original audiences were delighted with the blasphemous and ruthlessly ambitious hero; the introduction to this edition discusses the problems that such a character poses for modern audiences and highlights the undercurrents of the play that lead towards a more ironic interpretation.
Call Number: PR2665.A2 W54 2014 and Electronic resource
The rise of queer theory in the last fifteen years or so has led to a large body of criticism on Edward II, on Marlowe more generally, and indeed on Renaissance literature. This new introduction to the play takes full account of that criticism, offering students a useful and lively overview of the field. While it is often remarked that the writing in Edward II is less 'Marlovian' than his other major plays, no critic has yet fully discussed why this might be the case. The new introduction brings together these topics in order to demonstrate how our understanding of the play is enhanced by considering these aspects of the play together. In addition the introduction also includes a performance history, updating the history given in the previous edition and paying greater attention to Derek Jarman's film, with which the play is often studied. All this ensures the edition meets the needs of students and teachers fully and imaginatively.
Call Number: PR2674 .S73 2014 and Electronic resource
The first book of its kind, Marlowe's Ovid explores and analyzes in depth the relationship between the Elegies-Marlowe's translation of Ovid's Amores-and Marlowe's own dramatic and poetic works. Stapleton carefully considers Marlowe's Elegies in the context of his seven known dramatic works and his epyllion, Hero and Leander, and offers a different way to read Marlowe.
Marlowe's seven plays dramatise the fatal lure of potent forces, whether religious, occult or erotic. In the victories of Tamburlaine, Faustus's encounters with the demonic, the irreverence of Barabas in THE JEW OF MALTA, and the humiliation of Edward II in his fall from power and influence, Marlowe explores the shifting balance between power and helplessness, the sacred and its desecration.