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See the fact file below for more information on Christopher Marlowe or alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury, England, to John Marlowe, a shoemaker, and Catherine Marlowe. On February 26, 1564, Christopher was baptized at St. George Church.
- Young Christopher attended The King’s School in Canterbury where he was awarded with a scholarship to pursue his studies at the Corpus Christi College in Cambridge.
- In 1584, he received his bachelor of arts degree and a Master’s degree in 1587.
- In relation to Marlowe’s Master of Arts degree, the Privy Council ensured his graduation after a letter was sent on his behalf to Cambridge. Suspicion that he was a secret agent of the government under the tutelage of Sir Francis Walsingham rose as, despite attending school under a scholarship program, records showed he spent a lot of money on food and drinks and had extended periods of absence from school.
- Upon graduation in 1587, Marlowe went back to London, England.
Christopher Marlowe’s Writing Career
- Christopher Marlowe became a member of the Court and worked with Court poets, Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Philip Sidney. In addition, it was believed that he also entered a secret society, The School of the Night, with prominent Elizabethans.
- His first drama, Dido, Queen of Carthage, was believed to be written while he was still in Cambridge. In 1594, the first copy was published.
- Prior to its publication, it was already performed by the Children of the Chapel between 1587 until 1593.
- In 1587, Marlowe’s play, Tamburlaine the Great, became his first work to be regularly played in London theatres. Together with Thomas Kyd’s The Spanish
- Tragedy, the story of Tamburlaine, a warlord, marked the beginning of Elizabethan theatre.
- Among Marlowe’s plays with controversial themes are: The Jew of Malta; Edward the Second; The Massacre at Paris; and Doctor Faustus.
- The Jew of Malta (The Famous Tragedy of the Rich Jew of Malta) was about the revenge against authorities by a Jew named Barabbas. It was first performed in 1592 and was probably written between 1589 and 1590.
- Edward the Second depicted the disposition of the monarch in front of his barons and the queen.
- His The Massacre at Paris (The Massacre at Paris: With the Death of the Duke of Guise) portrayed the events during the Saint Bartholomew Day Massacre in 1572.
- It became one of his most controversial works because of its criticism of English Protestants murdering refugees.
- Lastly, Doctor Faustus (The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus), was the first dramatised version of the German legend who entered into a devil’s pact.
- In 1598, his poem, Hero and Leander, was published. He also translated Ovid, which was later banned by Archbishop Whitgift because of its offensive content.
- Christopher Marlowe became closely acquainted with dramatist Thomas Kyd and poet Thomas Watson.
- In the spring of 1593, Kyd was arrested for alleged participation in a mob riot against Flemish Protestants. The authorities found papers associating him with atheism. Kyd denied the ownership of the manuscripts, instead, under torture, accusing Marlowe.
- Given the chaotic environment of London due to mob riots and plague, Marlowe retreated to Kent.
- In order to implicate Marlowe, Kyd sent two letters to Sir John Puckering, Lord Chancellor. Kyd affirmed Marlowe’s ownership of the papers, which showed irreligiosity. In addition, Puckering also received a letter from Richard Baines.
Death and Legacy
- On May 20, 1593, Marlowe was arrested for the crime of heresy and atheism. During that time, such an act was a serious offense punishable by death through burning at the stake. He was released after two weeks in Newgate prison without any signs of torture, an unbelievable feat.
- On May 30, 1593, he went to the house of Mrs. Eleanor Bull in Deptford for a meeting. Marlowe presumably met Ingram Frizer, Nicholas Skeres and Robert Poley, all related to the spy network of Sir Walsingham.
- At the age of 29, many believed that Marlowe was stabbed by Frizer, which caused his death. His body was buried at St. Nicholas Church, in Deptford.
- Until today, his involvement in spy activities for the queen and his religious beliefs fuel the mystery of his murder plot. There are numerous theories about his death, including the involvement of Sir Walter Raleigh to prevent incrimination; that members of the Privy Council killed him to conceal their own atheism; that the queen ordered his assassination because of his atheism; and that his death was faked to avoid exile and torture. This theory also ignited the conspiracy of Marlowe writing for William Shakespeare.
- Marlowe is considered the foremost dramatist of the Elizabethan era followed by William Shakespeare.
- In 1891, a Marlowe Memorial was erected in Buttermarket, Canterbury. It’s a bronze sculpture named The Muse of Poetry by Edward Onslow Ford.
- In 2002, a memorial window of Marlowe was unveiled at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.
Christopher Marlowe Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Christopher Marlowe worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about Christopher Marlowe who was an English playwright, poet and translator who became influential during the Elizabethan era in the 16th century.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Christopher Marlowe Facts
- Elizabethan Tragedian
- English Playwrights
- Elizabethan Era
- Theatre Plays
- Mix, Match and Play
- Marlowe and Shakespeare
- Go or Gossip
- Massacre at Paris
- Marlowe’s Lines
- Playwright’s Life
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Link will appear as Christopher Marlowe Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 15, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.