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The Influential Life Of Christopher Marlowe

1822 words - 8 pages

During the Renaissance era, Christopher Marlowe impacted and inspired many of his fellow playwrights during his short life. With the success of his plays and poems, some including Tamburlaine the Great and Hero and Leander, came the praise for Marlowe’s contemporaries. According to Peter Farey, there were notably few contemporary dramatists whom had anything negative to say about Marlowe, although he received much criticism regarding his personal life. His relatively clean reputation diminished after his first arrest in 1593 and rumors of suspected corruption. It is believed by a copious amount of scholars that Marlowe was a considerably controversial individual in the eyes of spectators during the 16th century. After all, many harbored a suspicion of him being a government spy, a homosexual male, and an atheist (The Marlowe Society). Marlowe’s life abruptly ended in the year of 1593 at the age of 29, however there is not a clear explanation regarding his death. There are various theories surrounding the death of Marlowe, including the belief that he was murdered and the assumption that he never actually died but faked his death and continued his life posing as William Shakespeare—according to The International Marlowe-Shakespeare Society--. Poet and dramatist Christopher Marlowe influenced many writers during the Renaissance period because of his acclaimed plays and poems, making a name for himself before his life ended suddenly during the year of 1593.
Christopher Marlowe grew up in a relatively middle class family and was thought to be a rather intelligent individual. The earliest known record the public has of the writer is of his baptism in Canterbury at St. George’s Church on February 26th, 1564, the same year as William Shakespeare. Marlowe was the second child of shoemaker John Marlowe and his wife Katherine Arthur. According to Peter Farey, Marlowe had six siblings, including five sisters—one whom died years after Marlowe was born—and one brother. Unlike his counterpart Shakespeare, Marlowe was university-educated. On January 14th, 1579, Marlowe started his education at the King’s School, Canterbury on a scholarship. However, he was fortunate enough to be selected at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge on another scholarship from a former Archbishop of Canterbury named Matthew Parker. The dramatist left Canterbury for university near the end of 1580 and received his B.A. degree in 1584 and later his M.A. several years later.
Throughout his relatively short lifespan, Christopher Marlowe flourished remarkably as an artist because of the fruition of his plays and poems. The dramatist’s first play, Tamburlaine the Great, was performed on a classic stage in 1587 in London. This play was the first English play to be written in blank verse and has been deliberated to be the beginning of the more mature phase of the Elizabethan theatre. The dramatist also wrote in iambic pentameter, which “became very popular before the end of this age”...

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