Download e-book for kindle: Shakespeare's Marlowe by Robert A. Logan

By Robert A. Logan

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Generally speaking, without distinguishing between sources and influence, scholars of early modern texts have sustained a remarkable enthusiasm for establishing in Shakespeare’s works similarities to Marlowe’s. There are, of course, exceptions. In his discussion in Shakespeare 1971: Proceedings of the World Shakespeare Congress, ed. R. Margeson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1972), 123–32, Wolfgang Clemen asserts, “The notion of Marlowe as Shakespeare’s forerunner has been abandoned Marlowe and Shakespeare: Repositioning the Question of Sources and Influence 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 27 long ago” (123).

15 Speculation apart, however, I see no reason to attribute the origin of the line to anyone other than Marlowe himself. The strongest bit of external evidence is the probability that Julius Caesar was the first play performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men at the Globe Theater early in the summer of 1599. III Although Titus Andronicus and Richard III lack verbal echoes of The Massacre At Paris, similarities among the characters of the three plays would seem to suggest some possibilities of influence.

Earlier, in his well-known soliloquy in the second scene of the play, the Duke also compares himself to Caesar, but, there, the analogy seems less startling and strained, more natural, and, perhaps because he has no audience but himself, the implicit self-adulation not so emphatic: “As Caesar to his soldiers, so say I: / Those that hate me will I learn to loathe” (ii, 95–96). 9 For instance, thinking that he has duped Henry III, he blindly congratulates himself and, undoubtedly with a swagger, comments, “As ancient Romans over their captive lords, / So will I triumph over this wanton king” (xxi, 52–53).

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