To deal with the great playwright Christopher Marlowe, a few pages are not sufficient. As Swinburne observes of Marlowe that “the father of the English tragedy and the creator of English blank verse was therefore also the teacher and the guide of Shakespeare.” Marlowe is considered to be the first major dramatist in the English literature. He presents the symbol of the theatre, not because that he is the first major playwright, but also because he expressed the romantic striving more directly and singularly than any other playwright. Moreover, he is considered to be the first who exploited the blank verse in drama accurately and gorgeously.
Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)
Christopher Marlowe, the son of a shoemaker John Marlowe, was born in Canterbury, he was christened on February 26, 1564. He grew up in an environment in which people respect strong successful individuals, like saints, freebooters, conquerors, and merchants. He went to King’s School, and then he was awarded one of the Archbishop Parker’s scholarships at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in December 1580.
Marlowe earned his bachelor of Arts degree in 1584. In 1587, the university hesitated in granting him his Master’s degree, due to his frequent absences in the university. He spent part of his time in Rheims among the Catholics who were against Queen Elizabeth’s Protestant regime. The Privy Council, then, interfered and asked to award Marlowe the Master’s degree for his service to his country, “whereby he had done her majesty good service and deserved to be awarded for his faithful dealing.” He declared that he was now working “on matters touching the benefit of his country.” As a result, Marlowe was rewarded his Master’s degree.
In July 1587 Marlowe, now a master of Arts, settled in London and began writing for the theatre, though he was probably also engaging himself in the secret service. In London, he plunged into the social life of the poets and...