Shakespeare & Marlowe
William Shakespeare owes much to Christopher Marlowe. Some even say they had a relationship. Others say Marlowe was Shakespeare, but is this true? And how much did Shakespeare truly owe to Marlowe?
Marlowe was the son of John Marlowe, a shoemaker. Marlowe entered Corpus Christi College at 16 and attained his Bachelor's at 20. He received his Master's at 23. But before the school gave it to him, they hesitated. The Privy Council interviewed him, saying that he had done good work for Queen Elizabeth I. He began writing plays in 1587 with his first as Dido, Queen of Carthage. His other works were the Jew of Malta, Edward the Second, The Massacre at Paris, Doctor Faustus, Tamburlaine (which brought him acclaim) Hero and Leander, and other small translations. During his life, he was thought to be a spy, because he was sometimes arrested but mysteriously not imprisoned or charged. He died in a bar brawl at the young age of 29.
Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford some two months after Marlowe. Experts use his baptism records as his birth certificate because there are no official birth records for both. John Shakespeare, William's father, was a man who had different occupations with varying degrees of success. There are no records of William attending the neighborhood grammar school. But it seems to send his boy to that school was the most logical thing for John Shakespeare to do.Shakespeare did not attend college but married Anne Hathaway at 18. He had three children with her; Hamnet Shakespeare, Susanna Hall, and Judith Quiney. From 18 until 26 there exist no records of his activities. However, there are many tales. There is one where he stole a deer. Another is that he was a schoolmaster, while another is of him caring for horses of theatergoers.The paper that indicates that he was a playwright by 26 was Robert Green's critique of him. It goes on about 'an upstart crow…'.
He bought a large house in 1597, showing that he was successful at that time, and he paid for a coat of arms. In total, he wrote 38 plays and hundreds of sonnets. Finally, he died on April 23, 1616, from unknown causes.
While Marlowe was an atheist, no one knows what Shakespeare was. Scholars can find clear atheistic views in Marlowe's plays but find views supporting and avowing religion in Shakespeare's plays. So, there is not a way to know Shakespeare's true thoughts on religion.
Some say Marlowe faked his death and took the name Shakespeare, but only a few scholars suspect this.
Marlowe was the first genius of blank verse. He opened the way for Shakespeare to use it. He also created characters of great ambition, which would become the staple of some of Shakespeare's characters. Marlowe was also bold in writing support for alternative relationships in his Edward the Second; this probably opened another pathway for Shakespeare to explore, as he did in his sonnets. So, the main contribution of Marlowe were his various themes. Shakespeare then absorbed and expanded on those themes in many of his plays.