Rewind: Christopher Marlowe

 

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“Come Live with me and be my love”

Marlowe is one of the most suggestive figures of the English Renaissance, and the greatest of Shakespeare’s predecessors. The glory of the Elizabethan drama dates form his Tamburlaine, wherein the whole restless temper of the age finds expression.

His Works:

Faustus, the second play, is one of the best of Marlowe’s works. The story is that of a scholar who longs for infinite knowledge and who turns from Theology, Philosophy, Medicine, and Law, the four sciences of the time, to study of magic, much as a child might turn from jewels to tinsel and coloured paper. In order to learn magic he sells himself to the devil, on condition that he shall have twenty four years of absolute power and knowledge. The play is the story of those twenty-four years.

His other famous play is the Jew of Malta: It is a study of wealth which centres about Barabas, a terrible old money lender, strongly suggestive of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.

“The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” is the only lyric poem Christopher Marlowe ever wrote, but it remains one of the most enduring poems in English literature. Its cheerful tone has little common with the rest of his work, which is generally violent and tragic.

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D. Ronald Hadrian
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