Printer Friendly

Working with Marlowe: Shakespeare's early engagement with Marlowe's poetics.

Two young men are sitting at a table in candlelit room. Paper, pen, and ink on the table. The slightly better dressed of the two is reading from the sheet in front of him, stops, goes over it once more, before nodding approvingly, "Mmm ... good, very good." He then swiftly seizes the quill, dips it, and underscores some words at the top of the written text, changes a word in midtext, and others at the end, before pushing the sheet over to his companion, "What do you think? Better?" The latter peruses the sheet carefully, "Mmm ... quite, I see what you mean ..."

This fanciful sketch attempts to capture the close working conditions and personal relationship existing between a playwright and an actor-playwright in the making--in this case between Marlowe and Shakespeare--who are working for the same theatre company. Collaboration and competition provide, I propose, a likely explanation for what Charles Forker terms the "symbiosis" and contiguity of some of their texts in 1591-92, (1) especially when considering that an actor and emerging dramatist like Shakespeare must have had privileged access to the scripts of Marlowe's plays when learning his lines.

Be this as it may, we cannot document the exact circumstances existing in and around the playhouse, but we may study the tangible and scripted results of their interaction. Here, I wish to consider briefly Shakespeare's response in As You Like It (1599) and King John (1595?) (2) to Marlowe's poetics and poetic practice as recorded in three of the latter's first (and extant) plays: 1 and 2 Tamburlaine and Dido, Queen of Carthage. (3) For among the Elizabethan and Jacobean poets who wrote for the stage, Shakespeare seems to be the only poet to have grasped fully the potential and energies inherent in Marlowe's "mighty line" or, in Phoebe's phrase, his "saw of might" (3.5.82), being unique in his capacity to bend that "might" to suit his own ends, preferences, and character. Critics have focused on the obvious similarities and differences in their handling of the dramatic medium, Wolfgang Clemen, Wilbur Sanders, Robert Logan, Lisa Hopkins, and M. L. Staple ton, (4) being among the more influential critics who have focused on how the two dramatists differ, but also the many continuities existing between their works.

In spite of the dissimilarities in reach and quality of verse (5) and characterization, Shakespeare is the dramatist who most successfully adopts and develops one of Marlowe's innovations, what I would term his art of fashioning "mighty speeches." These speeches, most readily associated with the protagonist in 1 Tamburlaine, (6) which are characterized by a particular dynamism and projection into the future caused by the combination of "mighty lines" and a novel use of linked metaphors. (7) Clemen especially foregrounds how Marlowe disrupts "the static pattern of the old rhetorical structure and the old methods of rationalistic analysis" (8) found in the rhetorical set speeches of earlier drama, and develops speeches driven by a expansive use of amplificatio and a setting free of the poetic imagination: "It is no longer mere rhetoric which is responsible for the heightening effect, but imagination" (119). Clemen's observations on Marlowe's art are to die point, but need to be qualified somewhat as regards speech structure. It is true that many elements of "rhetorical formalism" (9) are dropped, but Marlowe is far from abandoning "a preconceived rhetorical 'dispositio,'" (119). I propose that what we see instead is the application of a different concept of structure, or design, in speeches, one that is less dependent on series of rhetorical devices, but one that combines dynamism with spatial form, creating stirring and persuasive speeches that function almost as self-contained poems. (10) The "theatrical magic" (11) of Marlowe hit the theater business like a bombshell, (12) routing University Wits like Robert Greene, Thomas Lodge, and George Peele who failed "to meet Marlowe's intellectual challenge and match his literary standard." (13) Shakespeare fared better due to his greater versatility and talent, and engaged with the innovations of Marlowe on all levels from structure to style while hammering out his own style of drama, seen for example in the second and third parts of Henry VI (1589-90) and King John. Meredith Skura points out that "while dramatists like Robert Greene imitated Marlowe's Tamburlaine, Shakespeare rewrote him as overreaching villain like Richard III, or an underachieving hero like Henry VI." (14)

Still, Shakespeare did not uncritically take over or mimic Marlowe's style, that fast became a type of knowledge shared among friends and rivals (a stylistic brand of the Erasmian "amicorum communia omnia"). (15) Even though echoes of Marlowe's poetry are present in various guises in works produced throughout Shakespeare's career, he seems from the outset to be somewhat wary of his colleague's style. As I will argue below, in As You Like It he ironizes and jokes about Marlowe's Italianate poetic excesses. Also, one wonders whether the attacks on Shakespeare for strutting with furtivis coloribus may have instilled in him some form of "anxiety of influence"? (16) There is however a tangible tenderness in Phoebe's lines in As You Like It: "Dead Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might, / Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?" (3.5.81-82).

It is a recorded fact that many of Marlowe's contemporaries saw beyond the strident and hyperbolical rhetoric of some of his characters and appreciated his poetry and poetics. Michael Drayton's often quoted lines on the poet Marlowe draw attention to the Neoplatonist underpinnings of the poetics:
   Neat Marlowe, bathed in Thespian springs
   Had in him those brave translunary things,
   That the first Poets had, his raptures were
   All air, and fire, which made his verses clear
   For that fine madness still he did retain,
   Which rightly should possess a poet's bram. (17)


In the words of Madeleine Doran, Drayton responded "sympathetically" to the inspirational doctrine set forth in "the Ion, the Phaedrus, and the Laws," and she connects his lines to Marlowe's "poetic vision." (18) Drayton aligns Marlowe with the first poets and attributes to him "that fine madness," or furor poeticus, discussed primarily by the philosopher and translator of Plato, Marsilio Ficino, in his work on the frenzies in late quattrocento Florence, and propagated by Italian cinquecento theorists like Giambattista Giraldi Cinzio, julius Caesar Scaliger, and their followers in England. (19) The terms Drayton uses about the quality of Marlowe's verses (air, fire, clear) characterize a poet whom nature, as it were, has taught to have an aspiring mind, and who has the four elements "always warring within [his] breast for regiment." (1 Tam, 2.7.19) He obviously sees Marlowe, who was among the poets and intellectuals gravitating around Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, (20) as a proponent of a Neoplatonizing poetics. Thus he follows in the footsteps of Sir Philip Sidney, who in An Apology for Poetry (1595) describes how a poet "with the force of a divine breath ... bringeth things far surpassing [nature's] doings." (21) Unlike Samuel Daniel, who wrote A Defence of Ryme (1603), Marlowe did not record his views on poetry, but he outlines his poetics and the formal solutions it entails in a blank verse "sonnet" in 7 Tamburlaine, first identified by Paul H. Kocher: (22)
   What is beauty, saith my sufferings, then?
   If all the pens that ever poets held
   Had fed the feelings of their masters' thoughts,
   And every sweetness that inspired their hearts,
   Their minds, and muses on admired themes.
   If all the heavenly quintessence they still
     From their immortal flowers of poesy,
   Wherein as in a mirror we perceive
   The highest reaches of a human wit,
   If all had made one poem's period,
   And all combined in beauty's worthiness.
   Yet would there hover in their restless heads
   One thought, one grace, one wonder at die least,
   Which into words no virtue can digest. (5.1.160-73)


The fourteen-line "poem" embedded in Tamburlaine's speech contains clear traces of a sonnet structure consisting of three quatrains with identical beginnings, or anaphora ("If all," "If all," "If these ... all"; [2, 6, 10]), followed by a couplet, much in the manner of Daniel's sonnets 9 and 19 in Delia (1592). (23) In short, Marlowe here allows us a glance into his poetic laboratory, providing us with a snapshot of his poetics and compositional method, doing exactly what Torquato Tasso had done in his Lezione (1567-70) on a sonnet by Giovanni Delia Casa. (24) Marlowe emphasizes poetry as an intellectual endeavor of the highest order, and the importance of heavenly inspiration, or what Sidney termed "the force of a divine breath." (25) Moreover, he stresses the importance of loftiness and unity of theme ("admired themes ... heavenly quintessence"), while adhering to the compositional ideal of what Tasso termed "unita mista," (26) mixed unity ("immortal flowers of poesy ... all combined") kept together by a unifying formal template furnished by the syntactic unity of a multimembered period ("one poem's period"). The metaphors drawn from alchemy ("quintessence" and "still") further underline the purity of form and essence aimed at when writing poetry, a quest for beauty that is unattainable and never-ending even for "restless heads," or in Sidney's "things far surpassing [nature's] doings."

It is precisely this type of Neoplatonist and poetics that Shakespeare later pokes fun at in As You Like It. The idea of the poet as a divine maker and endowed with extraordinary, even Orphic, powers to move listeners and work miracles, probably seemed high-blown and outlandish to Marlowe's Warwickshire contemporary, who in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595) makes Theseus lump together lunatics, madmen, and poets as being "of imagination all compact" (5.1.8). (27)

Although Shakespeare from the very beginning actively engages with Marlowe's style, he may have found aspects of the latter's magniloquent speeches in Tamburlaine a suitable target for merriment. In As You Like It, written two or three years after Marlowe's death, he undercuts the lofty claims and the artificiality of Marlowe's Italianate style. This is particularly evident in the love poems Orlando writes to Rosalind. In one of them we learn that he will "at every sentence End ... Rosalind write" (3.2.132-33), alluding, I suggest, to a rhetorical device that Marlowe uses for example in Tamburlaine's panegyric lament on Zenocrate ("Black is the beauty of the brightest day" (2 Tam, 2.4.346-70]) where her name is repeated in rhyme position six times in all, as seen below:
   Now walk the angels on the walls of heaven
   As sentinels to warn the 'immortal souls
   To entertain divine Zenocrate.
   Apollo, Cynthia, and the ceaseless lamps
   That gently looked upon this loathsome earth
   Shine downwards no more, but deck the heavens
   To entertain divine Zenocrate.
   The crystal springs whose taste illuminates
   Refined eyes with an eternal sight,
   Like tried silver, runs through Paradise
   To entertain divine Zenocrate. (15-25, emphasis mine)


Here and elsewhere, (28) Tamburlaine repeats his queen's name at the end of several lines, and we recognize the same device in the poem that Celia reads, opening with an allusion to Francesco Petrarch's Canzoniere 269 (1374), (29) which Marlowe uses in the epilogue in Doctor Faustus: (30)
   CELIA. From the east to western Ind,
   No jewel is like Rosalind.
   Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
   Through all the world bears Rosalind.
   All the pictures fairest lines
   Are but black to Rosalind ...
   Let not face be kept in mind
   But the fair of Rosalind.
   (As You Like It, 3.2.86-93, emphasis mine)


In Orlando's verses on Rosalind, Marlowe's high seriousness becomes transposed to farce, when Shakespeare comically exaggerates the Scythian's "impassionate fury, for the death of his Ladie and loue, faire Zenocrate." (31) It seems done for the fun of it, but he seems to have forgotten that his initial attitude to this technique may have been somewhat more positive, for in King John one of the citizens of Anglers eulogizes Lady Blanche in a manner we know well by now:
   CITIZEN. If lusty love should go in quest of beauty,
   Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch?
   If zealous love should go in search of virtue,
   Where should he find it purer than in Blanch?
   If love ambitious sought a match of birth,
   Whose veins bounds richer blood than Lady Blanch?
   Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth,
   Is the young Dauphin every way complete.
   (King John, 2.1.426-34, emphasis mine)


Here we not only spot the device of placing the name of the praised woman at the ends of several lines, but may also notice that the influence of Marlowe's "sonnet" on beauty. The influence is strongly felt both in terms of theme, that is, beauty, and structure: the three hypothetical clauses ("If lusty love," "If zealous love," "If love ambitious") echo those in Tamburlaine's "sonnet." As in Marlowe's play the three hypothetical questions ("If all ...") lead up to an expression of the Neoplatonist principle of "infolding," (32) which is when three positive qualities--here beauty, virtue, and noble birth--are combined in the excellence of Blanche.

But let us return to As You Like It and Shakespeare's comic treatment of Marlowe's Neoplatonizing poetics in Orlando's love poems to Rosalind. Here, too, Shakespeare plays around with the principle of infolding which he treats with antipetrarchist gusto by rehearsing some of the other metaphors employed in Marlowe's "sonnet" on beauty:
   But upon the fairest boughs,
   Or at every sentence end,
   Will I 'Rosalinda' write?
   Teaching all that read to know
   The quintessence of every sprite
   Heaven would in little show.
   Therefore Heaven Nature charged,
   That one body should be filled
   With all graces wide-enlarged:
   Nature presently distilled
   Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
   Cleopatra's majesty,
   Atalanta's better part,
   Sad Lucretia's modesty.
   Thus Rosalind of many parts
   By heavenly synod was devised,
   Of many faces, eyes, and hearts,
   To have the touches dearest prized ...
   Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
   And I to live and die her slave.
     (3.2.132-51, emphasis mine)


Alchemy is important also in Orlando's view of writing poetry for he repeats key terms ("quintessence," "distilled," "one body ... filled with all graces"), where Marlowe had used "quintessence" and "still." Here, however, the process is hardly an act of creating quintessential beauty even though the principle of infolding no doubt is intended when "Rosalind of many parts / By heavenly synod was devised" (46-47), and in this respect it alludes to the similar principle of combining three elements into one seen in the attempt describe beauty in Tamburlaine's "sonnet." There the poets fail to combine "one word, one wonder, one grace" into a description that does justice to "beauty's worthiness"(5.1.170). These allusions to the Neoplatonist principle of infolding that was so central to the cult of the universality of Queen Elizabeth are here, as they indeed are in Love's Labour's Lost (1590), (33) a cause for merriment. This is especially true because Shakespeare also cites the Italian patriarchal aesthetic commonplace that no single woman could be perfect. (34) Therefore theorists recommended that particularly desirable and excellent parts of diverse women should be combined into a perfect image of female beauty, as described for example by Agnolo Firenzuola in Delle bellezze delle donne (1540). (35) Orlando foolishly explains in detail the highly mundane process of selecting female body parts ("many faces, eyes, and hearts"). (36)

Shakespeare may have outgrown Marlowe's exuberant rhetoric and offered a serio-ludere critique of his colleague's style by the time he wrote As You Like It, but he continued to practice one basic compositional technique that he had learned while working alongside and competing with his innovative rival: the use of the periodic speech. For in Marlowe Neoplatonist ideas and the classical rhetoric often come together in a very practical manner in the theory of the "one poem's period," or periodicity, which is the practical and technical template of his poetics.

It has been argued by a number of critics (37) that Marlowe tends to build his plays by extended paragraphs of impassioned poetry rather than by scenes. This may be partially true as regards speeches that mark important structural points in the action, but he also pays great attention to the structure of scenes and their architectural integration into plots. (38) In such key-point speeches, John Russell Brown noted, elements are assembled to create a total effect: "he preferred to build, to progress by marked degrees, retaining each element within the final large impression." (39) For the spatially designed periodic speech, in which we also often find his typical moving flashes of poetry, is his main building block and one that appealed in particular to Shakespeare.

In fact, in then use of patterned speeches Marlowe and Shakespeare are almost unique. For all his imitations of Marlowe, Greene for example did never quite take to this technique, which was fully developed already in Dido, Queen of Carthage and Tamburlaine to the extent that nearly one-third of the text in the plays is found in periodic speeches of varying length and complexity. (40) In this, Marlowe clearly adheres to poetic ideals ultimately originating in Aristotle, who explains what creates cohesion and unity in long periods. He recommends placing verbal repetitions connecting the beginning, the middle, and end of sentences, that is, at the same points that he also argues should be interlinked if a plot in tragedy is to have unity. (41) Therefore Francesco Robortello, when discussing Aristotle's definition of plot unity in The Poetics (c. 335 BCE), advises his reader to look up what Aristotle has to say on the period. (42) In fact, the formal properties of the period could serve as an aesthetic ideal or formal template for larger finished segments of text. (43) One such segment is Tamburlaine's blank verse "sonnet," discussed on pages 25-26, which incorporates a designed, extrasyntactic structure of repetitions, consisting, as it were, of the "flowers of poesy" distilled and combined. (44)

Sometimes the close relationship between structure and topic is so close that we speak of emblematic speeches. Commenting on the myths of ascent, Harry Levin remarked "Marlowe could have brought the authority of Lucretius ... to the support of his hero's restlessness." (45) Marlowe, "the Lucretius of the English language," (46) manages to fix that restlessness within a verbally designed, spatial structure, combining dynamism with containment. A telling example is 1 Tamburlaine, 2.7.17-29, where Marlowe underlines the inborn and upward surge in the human will to aspire and that the basis of this aspiration is the forces at work in nature and the universe:
   The thirst of reign and sweetness of a crown
   That caused the eldest son of heavenly Ops,
   To thrust his father from his chair
   And place himself in th'empyreal heaven,
   Moved me to manage arms against thy state.
   What better precedent than mighty Jove?
   Nature, that framed us of four elements
   Warring within our breasts for regiment,
   Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.
   Our souls, whose faculties can comprehend
   The wondrous architecture of the world;
   And measure every wand'ring planet's course,
   Still climbing after knowledge infinite,
   And always moving as the restless spheres,
   Wills us to wear ourselves and never rest,
   Until we reach the ripest fruit of all
   That perfect bliss and sole felicity,
   The sweet fruition of an earthly crown. (2.7.12-29, emphasis mine)


Tamburlaine's description of his quest for infinite knowledge is here placed within a strongly marked rhetorical frame constituted by the repeated thematic key-words "sweetness/sweet" and "crown" (12, 29). We note how architectural metaphors almost function as self-referential terms. The speech and the many others of its kind in / and 2 Tamburlaine behave like stanzas, or "rooms" of poetry, (47) and most of them are spoken by the towering figure of Tamburlaine, who surpasses even "Hermes, prolocutor to the gods" (1 Tarn, 1.2.210).

Of course, not all speeches are as elaborate in their rhetorical patterning as the cited speech, some are more patterned and many more considerably less patterned, or not at all, especially with respect to the speaker and the function of the speech. However, what characterizes Marlowe's compositional style in Tamburlaine is that about 30 percent of the speeches in part 1, and about 25 percent of the speeches in part 2 have structures of this kind, albeit of various complexity. The following speech by Tamburlaine to Cosroe is a tight-knit example and typical of speeches that immediately were imitated in, for example, Shakespeare's King John. First Marlowe:
   Hold thee, Cosroe; wear two imperial crowns.
   Think thee invested now as royally,
   Even by the mighty hand of Tamburlaine,
   As if as many kings as could encompass thee
   With greatest pomp had crown'd thee emperor.
   (1Tam, 2.5.1-5, emphasis mine)


Here we note that the repetitions (on the pattern of abc / cba) encircle the image of sovereignty in the central line ("the mighty hand of Tamburlaine"). Now to Shakespeare who seizes on this technique and in King John:
   King John. If that the Dauphin there, thy princely son,
   Can in this book of beauty read "I love,"
   Her down' shall weigh equal with a queen;
   For Anjou, and fair Touraine, Maine, Poitou,
   And all that we upon this side the sea--
   Except tins city now by us besieged--
   Find liable to your crown and dignity,
   Shall gild her bridal bed, and make her rich
   In titles, honours, and promotions,
   As she in beauty, education, blood,
   Holds hand with any princess of the world.
   (2.1.485-95, emphasis mine)


We note how the word "princely" and "beauty" (485-86) are echoed in beauty and princess at the close of John's speech (494-95), constituting a double frame around the argument that Blanche's dowry will match her status and qualities and be equal to the status and virtues of the Dauphin. (48) At the center of the eleven-line speech, Shakespeare creates a rhyme (sea versus dignity) that encircles the significant word "crown." There are many similar speeches in King John and they are more evenly divided between the characters. King John, King Lewis, Constance, and Blanche use them, and also the Herald has one, although the Marlovian Bastard dominates as the character with the most lines. For even here we find Shakespeare reconfiguring Marlowe, forging his own versions of the mighty speech. It would be wrong, however, to say there is no variation in Marlowe's practice, for already in his first play, Dido, Queen of Carthage, both Aeneas and Dido speak repeatedly in periodic speeches, (49) and the perhaps finest one is Dido's last.

Although the play is highly experimental, displaying the poet's acquaintance with a number of sources and a varied handling of poetry and dramaturgy, the mighty speech then is already fully developed. There is no need to explain away what (wrongly I think) has been seen as the play's lack of cohesion, because the effects created underscore the studied experimental and innovative quality of Marlowe's original creation, which engages with and transforms the kind of courtly and mythological play John Lyly had written.

In Dido's most frantic and almost comic wooing speech, Marlowe includes a reference to how one of her suitors as an "Orator ... thought by words / To compass me, but yet he was deceived" (3.2.155-56), which interestingly is what she too will do with a similar-result, being rejected by Aeneas. As a result of him abandoning her (50) and suppressing his love for her and instead fulfilling his political mission ("Italiam non sponte sequor"), she commits suicide by sacrificing herself on the pyre (5.1.292-313). She swears vengeance on Aeneas in a moving speech that illustrates how the young playwright-poet has made the concinnitas of humanist rhetoric into an art of his own:
   Now, Dido, with these reliquies burne thy selfe,
   And make Aeneas famous through the world
   For perjurie and slaughter of a Queene.
   Here lye the Sword that in the darksome Cave
   He drew, and swore by to be true to me,
   Thou shalt burne first, thy crime is worse then his;
   Here lye the garment which I cloath'd him in,
   When first he came on shoare, perish thou to:
   These letters, lines, and perjurd papers all,
   Shall burne to cinders in this percious flame.
   And now ye gods that guide the starrie frame,
   And order all things at your high dispose, (51)
   Graunt, though the traytors land in Italy,
   They may be still tormented with unrest,
   And from mine ashes let a Conqueror rise,
   That may revenge this treason to a Queen,
   By plowing up his Countries with the Sword.
   Betwixt this land and that be neuer league,
   Littora littoribus contraria, fluctibus undas
   Imprecar: arma armis;pungent ipsique nepotes:
   Live false Aeneas, truest Dido dyes,
   Sic juvat ire sub umbras. (292-313; emphasis mine)


The speech falls into two main parts, each half beginning with the adverb "now" (292, 302) and repeating the verb "burne" (292,301) to form a chiastic pattern ("now ... burne // burne now")', (52) thus providing a strong link between the beginning and the middle of the speech. Then, too, the speech has its own a penpety when Dido turns from private sacrifice to an invocation to the gods to avenge her (302-11), before returning to the private sacrifice in the last two verses (312-13). This peripety is furthermore made prominent when the word "all" is repeated in verses 300 ("papers all") and 303 ("all things") as a frame, whereas the center itself is marked by a rhyme (flame-frame). In this manner a combination of epanados and antimetabole links the peripety to the opening of the speech. (53) Turning now to the several other rhetorical "flowers" iterated in the speech, we note that the beginning is linked to the end, but also that keywords in the first half also occur in the second half, and some in inverse order, in this manner: Dido / Aeneas / Queene / Sword / all / flame-frame / all / Queene / Sword / Aeneas / Dido. Note that I have underscored the repeated rhymes within this structure, as the repetition of rhyme-words and rhymes is an additional form of adornment that Marlowe came to use quite frequently in his blank verse and that he later takes up and develops in Hero and Leander. However, Marlowe does not end his engagement with Virgil and, in a final flourish, combines Virgil's Latin and his own words ("Live false, Aeneas, truest Dido dyes") into a cross-linguistic chiastic "rhyme" structure for Dido's lines of farewell: undas ... nepotes / dyes... umbras. (54) Such verbal games many would say are details, but because the details are words and poetry is words put in order, such repetitions do indeed matter. They did to Marlowe, Shakespeare, and their contemporaries.

Critics have noted how Shakespeare returned to and engaged intellectually and competitively with lines and passages of Marlowe throughout his career, but more attention, I propose, needs to be paid to his response to Marlowe's periodic speeches in which strategically placed verbal repetitions increase the impact on the audience. Shakespeare's critique of the hyperbolical tone of Marlowe's speeches seems to have been an element in his dramatic poetry that is traceable as far back as in King John in the magniloquent Marlovian character of the Bastard. His high-blown rhetoric at act 5, scene 2, lines 17-58 is interestingly commented on by King Lewis: "We hold our time too precious to be spent / With such a brabbler" (162). For in the imitation, revision, and critique of Marlowe's style voiced, for example, by King Lewis in King John or in the poetry of Orlando in As You Like It, we also perceive the ambivalence in his response to and fascination for the art of the "Dead shepherd."

University of Agder

Kristiansand, Norway

(1.) Charles R. Forker. introduction to Edward II (Manchester: Manchester UP 1994) 1136, 20.

(2.) William Shakespeare, The Complete Works, ed. Stanley Wells et al. (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005). All subsequent references to Shakespeare's plays are from this edition. I think there is proof that places King John in 1589-90, but do not have space here to present my case for an early date.

(3.) Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus and Other Flays, ed. David Bevington and Eric Rasmussen (1995; repr., Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008). M subsequent quotations from 1 and2 Tamburlaine are from this edition. Dido, Queen of Carthage is cited from Christopher Marlowe, Complete Works of Christopher Marlowe, ed. Roma Gill, vol. 1 (Oxford: Clarendon P, 1986).

(4.) Wilbur Sanders's seminal study, The Dramatist and the Received Idea: Studies in the Plays of Marlowe and Shakespeare (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1968) is a classic in this respect, but a more balanced account is found in Stanley Wells, Shakespeare and Co.: Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Dekker. Ben Jonson ... and the Other Players in His Story (London: Penguin, 2007), 61-105. See also Robert A. Logan, Shakespeare's Marlowe: The Influence of Christopher Marlowe on Shakespeare's Artistry (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2007); Lisa Hopkins, Christopher Marlowe, Renaissance Dramatist (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2008); and Christopher Marlowe the Craftsman: Lives, Stage, and Page, ed. Sarah K. Scott and M. L. Stapleton (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2010).

(5.) For a succinct discussion of Marlowe's verse, see Russ McDonald, "Marlowe and Style," in The Cambridge Companion to Christopher Marlowe, ed. Patrick Cheney (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004), 55-69.

(6.) Wolfgang Clemen, English Tragedy before Shakespeare: The Development of Dramatic Speech (1961; repr., London: Routledge, 2012).

(7.) McDonald draws attention to the particular force of inherent in his dramatic poetry, underlining that it "proceeds from his unique combination of the transgressive and the conventional." McDonald, "Marlowe and Style," 55-69.

(8.) Clemen, English Tragedy before Shakespeare, 117.

(9.) Jean-Pierre Maquerlot, Shakespeare and the Mannerist Tradition: A Reading of Five Problem Plays (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995), 54.

(10.) I do not accept the view that when "Marlowe breaks the formal stiffness of the syntactical pattern ... [such] moments ... are exceptional." Maquerlot, Shakespeare and the Mannerist Tradition, 53.

(11.) C. L. Barber, Creating Elizabethan Tragedy: The Theatre of Marlowe and Kyd, ed. Richard P. Wheeler (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1988), 45-86, 48.

(12.) Richard Levin, "The Contemporary Reception of Marlowe's Tamburlaine" Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 1 (1984): 51-70.

(13.) James P. Bednarz, "Marlowe and the English Literary Scene," in Cheney, Cambridge Companion, 90-105,98.

(14.) Meredith Skura, "What Shakespeare Did to Marlowe in Private: Dido, Faustus, and Bottom," in Scott and Stapleton, Christopher Marlowe the Craftsman, 79-90, 90.

(15.) Erasmus, Adagiorum chiliades, Opera omnia, (Veneria: Aldus, 1508), 2.13F-14F. See Kathy II. Eden, "Literary Property and the Question of Style: A Prehistory," in Borrowed Feathers: Plagiarism and the Limits of Imitation in Early Modern Europe, ed. Hall Bjornstad (Oslo' UniPub, 2008), 21-38.

(16.) Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1973), 5-16.

(17.) Michael Drayton, "Elegy to My Most Dearly-Loved Friend, Henry Reynolds," in Minor Poems of Michael Drayton, ed. Cyril Brett (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1907), 110.

(18.) Madeleine Doran, Endeavors of Art: A Study of Form in Elizabethan Drama (Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1964), 57.

(19.) Sir Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry; or, The Defence of Poesy, ed. Geoffrey Shepherd (1965; repr., Manchester: Manchester UP, 1980). Sidney mentions both Scaliger and Cristoforo Landino in his peroration (141-42).

(20.) Patrick Cheney, Marlowe's Counterfeit Profession: Ovid, Spenser, Counter-Nationhood (Toronto: Toronto UP, 1997), 222-26.

(21.) Doran connects Drayton with Sir Philip Sidney and Marlowe, Endeavors of Art, 57, citing Sidney's passage on divine inspiration, An Apology for Poetry, 101.

(22.) Paul II. Kocher, "A Marlowe Sonnet," Philological Quarterly 24.4 (1945): 39-45.

(23.) Samuel Daniel, Delia: Containing certayne Sonnets: with the complaint of Rosamond (London. 1592; rpr. Menston, Scolar Press, 1963), Sig. Cr and D2r.

(24.) Doran, Endeavors of Art, 56-57.

(25.) Sidney, An Apology for Poetty, 101.

(26.) Torquato Tasso, Discorsi dellArte poetica, ed. Luigi Poma (Bari: LaTerza, 1964), 2.17.

(27.) When this is said, we remember that Theseus also allows the poet's "frenzy" is "fine":
   The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
   Doth glance from heaven to Earth, from Earth to heaven.
   And as imagination bodies forth
   The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
   Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
   A local habitation and a name. (5.1.12-17)


(28.) The same technique is used in the first part of Tamburlaine (2.4.1-38).

(29.) Petrarch's Lyric Poems: The Rime Sparse and Other Lyrics, ed. and trans. Robert M. Durling (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1976), 442-443.

(30.) Cheney, Marlowe's Counterfeit Profession, 223-24.

(31.) See the advertisement on the frontispiece of 2Tamburlaine in the 1593 edition (repr [Menston]: Scolar, 1973).

(32.) Edgar Wind, Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1969), 120 27.

(33.) In Love's Labour's Lost, Berowne (Biron) passionately replies that eminent qualities are infolded in Rosaline, too, because "Of all complexions that culled sovereignty / Do meet as at a fair in her fair cheek, / Where several worthies make one dignity" (5.1.233-35). See Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance, 225-26.

(34.) See Nancy J. Vickers, "Diana Described: Scattered Woman and Scattered Rhyme " Critical Inquiry 8.2 (1981): 265-79.

(35.) Agnolo Firenzuola, Dialogo delle believe delle donne, in Prose di M. Agnolo Firenzuola Florentino (Florence, 1540), fol. 75.

(36.) See also Love's Labour's Lost, 5.1.179-84.

(37.) See, for instance, Harry Levin's discussion in The Overreacher: A Study of Christopher Marlowe (London: Faber, 1961), 29-32; 197-99, or Clemen, English Tragedy before Shakespeare, 116-20.

(38.) On Marlowe's style of designing plots, see Roy Enksen, '"What Place Is This': Time and Place in Marlowe's Dr. Faustus (B)," RenDrama 16 (1985): 49-74.

(39.) John Russell Brown, "Marlowe and the Actors," Tulane Drama Review 8.4 (1964): 155-73,159.

(40.) Roy Eriksen, The Forme of Faustus Fortunes: A Study of the Tragedie of Doctor Faustus (1616) (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities and Solum, 1987), 207-26.

(41.) Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric, trans. J. H. Freese (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1926), 2.4.13, 3.9.6-9. The relevant passages are discussed in Eriksen, Forme of Faustus Fortunes, 207-9; and more fully, in "Poetics, Stylometrics and Attributions Studies: Periodicity in Marlowe," in Approaches to the Text: From Pre-Gospel to Post-Baroque, eds. Roy Eriksen and Peter Young (Pisa and Rome: Fabrizio Serra Editore, 2014) 171-90.

(42.) Francesco Robortello, In librum de arte poetica explicationes (Florence, 1548), 72.

(43.) Aristotle underscores that "all these figures [which are typical of the period] may be found in the same sentence at once--antithesis, equality of clauses, and similarity of endings" (The Art of Rhetoric, 3.9.6; 387-90). He also underlines the period's function as a template for orations and dithyrambs (3.9.6; 389-91). Compare with Eriksen, The Forme of Faustus Fortunes 208,224n. J

(44.) See Eriksen, "Poetics, Stylometrics and Attribution Studies: Periodicity in Marlowe, 173-78.

(45.) Levin, The Overreacher, 56.

(46.) Una Ellis-Fermor, Christopher Mar/owe (London: Methuen, 1927), 34.

(47.) Daniel writes about a poem as being a "lust periode" in A Defense of Ryme (1603) and amply illustrated this in Delia (1592; 1603). Sir John Beaumont, in Bosworth Field: With a Taste of the Variety of Other Poems (London: Felix Kyngston, 1629), 136, uses the same technique in an encomiastic sonnet to Charles I, "At the end of his Majesties first yeere' the "periodos" symbolism is evident:
   Your royal father James, the good and great,
   Proclaim'd in March, when first we felt the spring,
   A world of blisse did to our island bring;
   And at his death he made his yeeres compleate,

   Although three dayes he longer held his seate,
   Then from that house when he rejoye'd to sing,
   Great Brittaine tome before, enjoyes a king.
   Who can the periods of the starres repeate?

   The sunne, who in his annuall circle takes
   A dayes full quadrant from th'ensuing yeere,
   Repayes it in foure yeeres, and equall makes
   The number of the dayes within his spheare:
     James was our earthly sunne, who, call'd to Heaven,
     Leaves you his heire, to make all fractions even. (Emphasis mine)


(48.) This involves yet another reference to infolding, when Blanche's "beauty, education blood" match those of a princess.

(49.) Albeit Dido herself has most of the long speeches displaying periodicity in the play the longest speech of all is delivered by Aeneas (2.1.161-208), when he recounts how the Greeks enter into Troy.

(50.) See Ann Christensen, "Men (Don't) Leave: Aeneas as Departing Husband in Dido, Queen of Carthage" Marlowe Studies: An Annual 2 (2012): 5-24.

(51.) Lines 202-03 possibly echo divine order described in the Latin Book of Wisdom 8-1 (Liber Sapientia): "adtingit enim a fine usque ad finem fortiter et disponit omnia suaviter" ('She [i.e. divine wisdom] also reacheth from one end to another mightely, and comely doth she order all "1 The verse is cited from The Geneva Bible, ed. Lloyd E. Berry (Madison, Milwaukee and London: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969,420. The references to order and frame can be taken to allude to the structure of the speech.

(52.) For multimembered chiasmi, or recessed symmetry, see Alastair Fowler's groundbreaking Triumphal Forms: Structural Fattens in Elizabethan Poetry (Cambridee Cambridge UP, 1970), 91-124.

(53.) For these terms and epanalepsis, see Abraham Fraunce, The Arcadian Rhetorike (London, la88). Fraunce explains epanados as "regression or turning to the same sound, when one and the same sound is repeated in the beginning and the middle, or middle and end. Epanalepsis ',s when "the same sound ... iterated in the beginning and ending." Antimetabole (or chiasmus) simply means the inverted repetition of two or more words (1.22, sig. D3v).

(54.) Here Marlowe seems to allude to the meaning of contraria as antitheta in rhetorical theory when he integrates the Latin poet's verses into his own periodic composition in his attempt to surpass the famous predecessor.
COPYRIGHT 2015 Purdue University, on behalf of College of Arts & Sciences Publications Office, Indiana University-Purdue University Ft Wayne
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare
Author:Eriksen, Roy
Publication:Marlowe Studies: An Annual
Article Type:Critical essay
Date:Jan 1, 2015
Words:6262
Previous Article:Dead shepherd: Marlowe's mighty saw.
Next Article:Moving with Marlowe (& Co.): relocation, appropriation, and personation in Thomas Dekker's the Shoemaker's Holiday.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters