Christopher Marlowe

An Englishman; a playwright and a poet. By: Shanna Scribner

Born February 6, 1564 in Canterbury England. Died May 30, 1593 in Deptford, England.

Born as a son to John and Catherine Marlowe. Died after an argument with Ingram Frizer over a tavern bill. Marlowe drew a knife, Frizer took it away and stabbed Marlowe in the right eye; he died instantly.


"Christopher Marlowe." Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. Biography in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.


"Christopher Marlowe." Gale Biography in Context. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Biography in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.




Christopher Marlowe's patron was Thomas Walsingham

"Marlowe death plot." History Today 55.11 (2005): 9. Biography in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.


Marlowe spent first 17 years of his life in Canterbury, England; then went to Cambridge; then to London; lastly to Deptford, England, where he died.

Christopher received his early education at King's School in Canterbury, England. At seventeen years old he moved to Cambridge, where he maintained a scholarship that had him studying for the ministry. In 1584, Marlowe received a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He went on to receive his Master of Arts degree in 1587. University officials at Cambridge had suspicions of Christopher and threatened to withhold his degree. The Queen's Privy Counsel settled the matter by letting them know he "had done Her Majesty good service." These services are still unknown. After getting his degrees, he went to London. Marlowe was imprisoned while in London for playing a large role in William Bradley's murder. He was arrested in 1593, but he died before the case was decided.

"Christopher Marlowe." Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale Research, 1992. Biography in Context. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.


Christopher Marlowe created plays and poems:

Examples of his work: A poem titled Hero and Leander, which was unfinished at his death, and a play Dido Queen of Carthage

"Christopher Marlowe." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998.

Biography in Context. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.



Tamburlaine the Great

Printed in 1590; created several years earlier. This two-part play shows Tamburlaine's rise to power, steadfast mind, and inhumanly brutal use of his power. It provokes fear and little compassion.

An excerpt from Tamburlaine the Great:

"From jigging veins of rhyming mother wits,/ And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay/ We'll lead you to the stately tent of war,/ Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine/ Threat'ning the world with high astounding terms/ And scourging kingdoms with his conquering sword./ View but his picture in this tragic glass,/ And then applaud his fortunes as you please."

Significance: This play's famous prologue to the first part announces new poetic and dramatic style.

Where to find this play: This play was made into a Broadway production.


I find this excerpt to be intriguing. I love the words and the language it uses. It really makes me want to think about the piece more in depth, even though I don't fully understand the circumstances.

"Christopher Marlowe." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998.

Biography in Context. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.





Tamburlaine the Great exemplifies Humanism

Christopher Marlowe made the first significant advances in tragedy. His work focuses on a single character who dominates by using their extraordinary strength of will. This is prominent in this piece of work.


"Christopher Marlowe." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998.

Biography in Context. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.