English 100

Junior Seminar: Christopher Marlowe

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Fall 2005 Landreth, David
Landreth, David
TTh 9:30-11 204 Wheeler
Other Readings and Media

Marlowe, C.: complete plays (Dido, Queen of Carthage, Tamburlaine the Great, The Jew of Malta, Edward II, Doctor Faustus, The Massacre at Paris), Complete Poetry. Further readings may include Vergil: Aeneid (Books 1 and 4); Ovid: Heroides; Machiavelli: The Prince; Shakespeare: Titus Andronicus, Richard III, As You Like It; and a course reader.


"Marlowe invented the modern theater, unleashing a power of spectacle, dialogue, and oratory that instantly addicted much of the teeming city of London and horrified the rest. This seminar will use the unbounded, amoral ambition of Marlowe's staged protagonists to imagine the limitless possibility and indefinable dangers that attended upon the new institution of the theater in the early 1590s, and to understand the ways in which Marlowe himself came to be deemed a dangerous man: brawler, blasphemer, spy, counterfeiter, atheist, sodomite.

We will consider as contexts the classical materials that Marlowe made his own; the contemporary world of literary rivalry and of national and religious paranoia into which he inserted himself; and the afterlife that Marlowe's drama and his own memory enjoyed after his early and violent death--most of all in the work of Shakespeare, his greatest rival and successor. "

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