– THE THEATRE OF CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE o Introduction.  Original and popular writer (as important as Shakespeare, she could have been even better if he hadn’t died)  “He was a pioneer, breaking new ground in the form and content of the drama” (S. Simkin): he was using new conventions, what made him, as well as Shakespeare, become very popular. If you are a pioneer, you are starting something new, without any references of it before you.  Life and writings subject to much speculation and controversy: prejudices for extraliterary reasons. (he had a very controversial, marginal and subversive life)  Literary achievement similar to Shakespeare’s. o Radical biography.  Born in Canterbury in February 1564  He studied at Cambridge university  He was frequently absent from Cambridge (a great difference with Shakespeare) on secret government service (he wanted to become minister). He was probably a spy (for the English Secret Services, we do not have documentation about it but he went to France and had friends in the ESS)  Unless new evidence emerges, we simply cannot know for sure where Marlowe had been during his absence from Cambridge.  He was regularly involved in violence or in trouble with the law. (fights and violence)  In May 1593 he was arrested on suspicion of dangerous religious opinions. (irreverent and irreligious)  On 30 May he was stabbed in a tavern at Deptford. The Reckoning, Ingram Frizer. Se pelearon con espadas; Frizer le clavo la espada en el ojo, atravesandole el cerebro. He was only 29 when he died.  He was a man who rebelled, who thought for himself, and who liked to shock. o Marlowe and the critics:  There was no real evidence that he was notorious or heterodox in the ways he has been presented by criticism: The First point to highlight is that Marlowe has been judged not for his writings, but for his ideas. Besides, we do not have a strong evidence to think that he was so irreverent in such way.  Few writers have been so negatively treated as Christopher Marlowe.  Prejudices and partial interpretations have prevailed over his dramatic art  His subversive life and particular conditions have created a negative understanding and interpretation of his theatre. He was a marginal writer.  T.S. Eliot has been influential in the XX century. He emphasizes ‘his torrential imagination’. He changed the appreciation on Marlowe’s writings. (valuing his writing, not his biography) o Marlowe and Shakespeare: There was a competition between them since both had been considered as models of literary creation.  Models and prototypes of literary creation  Marlowe was an antecedent for Shakespeare. For N. Brooke Marlowe acted as a provocative agent in Shakespeare’s early plays. They provoked each other to be the best ones in London at that time. We can observe this competence in the early plays by Shakespeare since Marlowe died. For Thomas Cartelli ‘Marlowe operates as a pre-condition for Shakespeare’. (without Marlowe, Shakespeare could not have been possible)  The anxiety of influence: “The haunting sense of artistic predecessors against whom writers must differentiate themselves as a psychological imperative of imaginative writing.” (Harold Bloom). To be original does not mean to break with the past. (passive (influence), active (originality), hauntng (something you cannot seen or prove, something that is there, writers in general. Tradition explained in a different way)  The character of Barabas in The Jew of Malta (by Marlowe) inspired Shakespeare for Aaron.  Similitudes between Mortimer and Richard III. Richard III was a historical play written by Shakespeare. So, in Mortimer we can see the same pattern. We cannot separate them, and they considered each other a reference, a model for literary creation. They were aware of that provocation to be better writers. 3/1.5 Dramatic Features of Marlowe’s Theatre  -Drama of excess, abuse of language not only in the language also in the theatrical elements used by Marlowe. Too many effects on the stage  -Intellectual exploration of man’s possibilities, that is to say to show that a man is a superman, who is not limited by physical laws, and he does that showing that through some ideas. It is an obsession for him.  -Antididactic drama: this is because Marlowe does not try to teach through his plays he only wants to entertain with his plays.  – Drama of transgression and dissidence: breaking laws, you can see that Marlowe and Faustus in the play, they live beyond law. 3/1.6 Marlowe’s Dramatic Interests  -Religion. The most absorbing interest in his life and plays. His final conclusions was that there was not a true religion for him.  -Materialism. He explores the possibilities generated by material values “El hermoso placer de los dineros” (Barabas in “The Jew of Malta”). He was very much interested in material values.  First Marlowe is vampiric, because the essence of the vampiric is its quintessential afford to the human, its intolerable indecorum—-Marlowe is the vampiring that dwelt among us seemingly a friend, yet savaging his human contexts and forcing us into spirals of unpleasant reflection on our governing variables and dominant schemas…and his plays reimagine the possibilities of imagining. Marlowe’s aristocracy