The Contribution Of Christopher Marlowe And C. Hristopher Marowe

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C hristopher Marlowe’s name is generally associated with Shakespeare’s in any discussion of English tragedy. As surprising as it might seem, the distance between the two is short, taking into account that they were contemporaries, and that Marlowe made his contribution while Shakespeare was still emerging on the English stage. Christopher Marlowe was born on 26 February, 1564 in Canterbury, Kent, England, the son of shoemaker John Marlowe and his wife Catherine and died on 30 May, 1593, in Deptford, near London. Marlowe was Shakespeare’s most important predecessor in English drama, noted especially for his development of a new metre which has become one of the most popular in English literary history, the blank verse, and for revitalizing a dying form of English drama. Marlowe attended The King’s School in Canterbury Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he studied on a scholarship and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1584. In 1587, however, the university hesitated about granting him the Master of Arts degree because of doubts arising from Marlowe’s frequent absences from the university and that he had converted to Roman Catholicism and intended to go to the English college at Rheims to prepare for the priesthood. The rumours were apparently put to rest when the Privy Council (others say the Queen herself) sent a letter of recommendation for his M.A. degree dated 29 June 1587: “ all his actions he had behaved himself orderly and discreetly, whereby he had

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