Marlowe was just 29 when he was murdered in Deptford, near London in 1593. By then, however, he had excited both London’s playwrights and audiences with his plays. Marlowe wrote seven plays that we know of, several of which are still regularly performed in the twenty-first century.
Marlowe was a major influence on the young Shakespeare, who followed in his innovative play-writing footsteps, particularly with regards to the history plays. Marlow’s Edward II, particularly, demonstrated how drama could be used to comment on the big issues in Elizabethan society and politics.
Here’s a list of Marlowe’s plays:
- Dido, Queen of Carthage, 1585/6, based on Virgil’s Aeneid
- The First Part of Tamburlaine the Great, 1586/7, an heroic drama
- The Second part of Tamburlaine the Great, 1587, an heroic drama
- The Jew of Malta, 1589, an early example of the tragicomedy form and the inspiration for Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
- Doctor Faustus, 1589, a dark comedy about the over-reaching nature of ambition
- Edward the Second, 1592, a moving tragedy exploring the reign of a weak and flawed king
- The Massacre at Paris, 1592, a bold depiction of the murders and scandals instigated by the French Court at the end of the fifteenth century
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