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Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

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Page 1: Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

Christopher Marlowe

AP EnglishShauna Rynn Waters

Page 2: Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

Bio Basics

• Born in Canterbury on February 26, 1564

• Father, John, was a cobbler– Same artisan class as Shakespeare

• Went to King’s School–Earned a Matthew Parker scholarship–Studied at Cambridge from 1580 – 1587

–Earned his MA

Page 3: Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

The Secret Agent

• Was recruited by Sir Francis Walsingham as a part-time secret service agent for Elizabeth I– Many bright, patriotic young men were recruited to serve

• This was an age of Catholic versus Protestant political intrigue– Assassinations and espionage

• Documents show he was a very important agent

Page 4: Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

His Death at Deptford

• May 30, 1593– Murder said to have been committed in the private room of house in Deptford•Common legend calls it a tavern

– Puritans gloated that it was a judgment from God

– Marlowe had been arrested on May 20th. •Charged with Atheism

– Heresy– Burning at the stake

•Was released with a lesser sentence

Page 5: Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

Death at Deptford (cont.)• Marlowe was with friends and acquaintances of Walsingham

• An argument erupted• Marlowe drew the dagger of Ingram Frizer– tried to stab Frizer

• Instead, received fatal stab wound over his right eye

• Some speculate his death to be a government plot– Frizer was released without trial within 28 days of the brawl

Page 6: Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

Marlowe’s Works• Heroic themes

– A great personality who is destroyed by his own passion and ambition

– Never merely sensational

• Strongly influenced Shakespeare• Greatest English dramatist before Shakespeare

• 1587 – Tamburlaine the Great• 1588 – Doctor Faustus• 1589 – The Jew of Malta

Page 7: Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

Works, cont.

• Marlowe was a true original• Created and mastered the “theatrical language” of blank verse– Unrhymed iambic pentameter

• Capable of portraying emotion without the restrictions of earlier more rigid forms

Page 8: Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

Doctor Faustus• Probably written in 1592

• Reinvention of an old motif– Individual who sells his or her soul to the devil for knowledge

• Based on a real person– Johannes Faustus– Disreputable German astrologer (early 1500’s)

Page 9: Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

More about Doctor Faustus• Immediate source is a German work from 1587

• Marlowe’s Faustus is the first famous version of the story

• Later, Romantic writers would revisit it– Goethe

• “Faustian bargain” – any deal made for short-term gain with great costs in the long run

Page 10: Christopher Marlowe AP English Shauna Rynn Waters

Elements of the Play• The play and the story itself contain elements which are holdovers from a medieval tradition, the morality play:– psychomachia, the battle over the spirit, here waged by a Good Angel and a Bad Angel;

– the parade of the Seven Deadly Sins;– the potential for salvation, which exists until he finally succumbs to despair and gives up all hope of being able to repent.