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Westminster Abbey, 20 Deans Yd, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA, Regno Unito
'''Christopher Marlowe''',  also known as '''Kit Marlowe''' (2 February 1564 - 30 May 1593), was an English playwright, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. Marlowe was the foremost Elizabethan tragedian of his day. He greatly influenced William Shakespeare, who was born in the same year as Marlowe and who rose to become the pre-eminent Elizabethan playwright after Marlowe's mysterious early death. Marlowe's plays are known for the use of blank verse and their overreaching protagonists.
A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May 1593. No reason was given for it, though it was thought to be connected to allegations of blasphemy—a manuscript believed to have been written by Marlowe was said to contain "vile heretical conceipts". On 20 May, he was brought to the court to attend upon the Privy Council for questioning. There is no record of their having met that day, however, and he was commanded to attend upon them each day thereafter until "licensed to the contrary". Ten days later, he was stabbed to death by Ingram Frizer. Whether or not the stabbing was connected to his arrest remains unknown.
Marlowe is frequently claimed to have been homosexual. Others argue that the question of whether an Elizabethan was gay or homosexual in a modern sense is anachronistic. For the Elizabethans, what is often today termed homosexual or bisexual was more likely to be recognised as a sexual act, rather than an exclusive sexual orientation and identity. Some scholars argue that the evidence is inconclusive and that the reports of Marlowe's homosexuality may simply be exaggerated rumours produced after his death. Richard Baines reported Marlowe as saying: "All they that love not Tobacco and Boys are fools". David Bevington and Eric Rasmussen describe Baines's evidence as "unreliable testimony" and make the comment: "These and other testimonials need to be discounted for their exaggeration and for their having been produced under legal circumstances we would regard as a witch-hunt". One critic, J.B. Steane, remarked that he considers there to be "no ''evidence'' for Marlowe's homosexuality at all." Other scholars, however, point to homosexual themes in Marlowe's writing: in ''Hero and Leander'', Marlowe writes of the male youth Leander, "in his looks were all that men desire" and that when the youth swims to visit Hero at Sestos, the sea god Neptune becomes sexually excited, "[i]magining that Ganymede, displeas'd, [h]ad left the Heavens ... [t]he lusty god embrac'd him, call'd him love ... He watched his arms and, as they opened wide [a]t every stroke, betwixt them would he slide [a]nd steal a kiss, ... And dive into the water, and there pry [u]pon his breast, his thighs, and every limb, ... [a]nd talk of love", while the boy, naive and unaware of Greek love practices, protests, "'You are deceiv'd, I am no woman, I.' Thereat smil'd Neptune."
Westminster Abbey, London
Marlowe wrote the only play about the life of Edward II up to his time, taking the humanist literary discussion of male sexuality much further than his contemporaries. The play was extremely bold, dealing with a star-crossed love story between Edward II and Piers Gaveston. Though it was common practice at the time to reveal characters as gay to give audiences reason to suspect them as culprits of a given crime, Christopher Marlowe's Edward II is portrayed as a sympathetic character.
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- ^ Christopher Marlowe, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- ^ "Christopher Marlowe was baptised as 'Marlow,' but he spelled his name 'Marley' in his one known surviving signature." David Kathman. [http://shakespeareauthorship.com/name1.html#3 "The Spelling and Pronunciation of Shakespeare's Name: Pronunciation."]
- ^ Robert A. Logan, ''Shakespeare's Marlowe'' (2007) p.4. "During Marlowe's lifetime, the popularity of his plays, Robert Greene's ... remarks ... including the designation "famous", and the many imitations of ''Tamburlaine'' suggest that he was for a brief time considered England's foremost dramatist."
- ^ Nicholl, Charles (2006). "By my onely meanes sett downe: The Texts of Marlow's Atheism", in Kozuka, Takashi and Mulryne, J. R. ''Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson: New Directions in Biography''. Ashgate Publishing, p. 153.
- ^ cite book|last=Smith|first=Bruce R.|title=Homosexual desire in Shakespeare's England|publisher=University of Chicago Press|location=Chicago, Illinois|date=March 1995|page=74|isbn=0-226-76366-8
- ^ ''Doctor Faustus and Other Plays'', pp. viii–ix
- ^ cite book |last=White|first=Paul Whitfield, ed.|title=Marlowe, History and Sexuality: New Critical Essays on Christopher Marlowe|publisher=AMS Press|location=New York|year=1998
- ^ ''Hero and Leander'', 88 (see [http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21262/21262-h/21262-h.htm Project Gutenberg]).
- ^ Cite book|title = Edward the Second|url = https://books.google.com/books?id=axTzkFP9IHoC|publisher = Manchester University Press|date = 15 October 1995|isbn = 9780719030895|first = Christopher|last = Marlowe|first2 = Charles R.|last2 = Forker