Christopher Marlowe

David Bevington

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online May 2010 | | DOI:
Christopher Marlowe

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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Christopher Marlowe remains a fascinating subject for critical study. His short life of twenty-nine years (b. 1564–d. 1593) ended in a murder in a tavern brawl. Puritan preachers in London rejoiced in what was for them a clear sign of divine wrath at an unregenerate sinner. Marlowe had a reputation, whether deserved or not, as an atheist, a homosexual (though the term was not then known), and a disciple of the political heterodoxies of Machiavelli. His plays, beginning in 1587–1588 with the two parts of Tamburlaine, were an instant sensation for their challenging presentations of overreaching in the realms of religion, sexuality, and politics. Whether he was in fact as transgressive as this may sound remains highly controversial today.

Article.  6131 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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