• Perminder Kaur

CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE : THE CONTENTIOUS DRAMATIST


Christopher Marlowe

In the earlier literary blog, we discussed the golden period of literature i.e. the Elizabethan period. So, let’s take the saga a little further by discussing the various great writers of the period one by one.

In this very blog, we will be discussing the amazing University wits who though lived a short life yet left an impeccable mark on the pages of English Literature. He is none other than Christopher Marlowe, one of the most controversial writers of all time. Christopher was born in 1564 and baptized on 26th Feb, 1564, just two months before the iconic William Shakespeare. He died young at the age of 29 on 30th May, 1593 under mysterious circumstances. Mysterious because, there is no such good documentation on the same and has been blamed on a long list of conjectures, including barroom fight, church libel, homosexual intrigue, betrayal by another playwright and espionage from the highest level : Elizabeth I of England’s Privy Council.

Let’s get on with the works he wrote. He wrote various commendable works like Dido, Queen of Carthage, Tamburlaine, The Jew of Malta, Doctor Faustus, Edward II and The Massacre at Paris. We can go on and talk endlessly on the works he wrote. However, I will be a little biased here and talk about his work which is my favorite. Though Tamburlaine was one of the greatest plays of all time, my personal favorite is Doctor Faustus which is stuck in my mind ever since I came across it.

Based on the Greek story about character Faust, the work “The Tragic History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus” is sure to make any reader cling on it. The book narrates the story of a very knowledgeable man, Dr. Faustus who is so greedy for knowledge that his thirst for the same is never quenched. He was learned in every discipline one could ever imagine. However, since his greed for knowledge doesn’t end, he longs for more and in the process of this sells his soul to Satan in order to learn “Necromancy” which for him was tempting at that moment. He is stopped by the good angel and various other things every now and then but his greed overpowers everything for the next 24 years. After 24 years, when he had enjoyed all the possible perks of this (necromancy) discipline, his end arrives. Though he repents and is sorry for all the misdeeds, he loses it. His end is so frightening that it may give the readers chills through the spine. This can be considered as one of the early morality plays which were staged to teach mankind a lesson. Even if we consider today’s times where humanity is moving towards destruction, what better lesson can one give than one in this story, i.e. staying away from never ending greed.

This is what I found worth sharing with my readers. However, there are many such stories and inspiring lives of authors which may fill your heart and soul with overwhelming emotions, after all literature never ceases to amaze. Keep visiting for such posts and write ups.

Till then, Happy Reading !




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