Tag: Author: Christopher Marlowe


So You Want to Read… (Christopher Marlowe)

Posted 24 May, 2017 by Lianne in Lists / 2 Comments

So You Want to Read… is a monthly feature here on eclectictales.com in which I recommend books by particular authors to readers who have never read a book from certain authors and would like to start. I’m always happy to recommend books and certain authors to my fellow readers and bloggers! 🙂

I was pondering for a while as to who to feature for this May edition of “So You Want to Read…” I sometimes schedule posts based on the time of year, what holidays are coming up, etc. It took a bit of pondering, but in the end I decided to go with Christopher Marlowe (see author tag), a contemporary of William Shakespeare’s (see author tag) and whose works I more or less read at this point. I find his works are much darker and much more dramatic than Shakespeare’s, entertaining if not a bit abrupt and unpolished at times. He’s definitely a playwright to check out if you’re looking to read beyond Shakespeare.

The following thus are three works by Christopher Marlowe that I’d recommend to start with:

  • Edward II (review) — Okay, perhaps it’s a bit bias that I’ve set this play first as it is one of my favourite plays, but it is easily the most accessible of his works. Events escalate pretty quickly and the character drama is absolutely fascinating to read/listen/watch unfold. Edward II is such a drama queen and you can’t help but feel bad for him but at the same time he is clearly out of his league as everyone around him is machinating for their own power. My review expands on my thoughts a lot more on the play but suffice to say I highly recommend starting here if you’ve never read any of his works.
  • The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (review) — This play is probably his most notable work–or at least that’s my impression when I look him up, it’s the first title listed–and for good reason as it explores the idea of what happens when you make a bargain with the devil. It completely veers into the fantastical and the darkness is quite apparent in this work but it explores concepts like good and evil and ambition and piety. It’s weird, but it’s different.
  • Hero and Leander — Okay, kind of weird to include an incomplete poem here but I found it to be rather beautifully written and it contains some familiar phrases such as “Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?”



And that’s about it for this list! I hope it helps if you’re interested in reading something by Christoper Marlowe for the first time! If you’ve read any of his works in the past, which one is your favourite? Which would you recommend for first-time readers? Or which plays have you been meaning to get around to reading? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

Review: Edward II

Posted 8 April, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Edward II
By: Christopher Marlowe
Format/Source: Audiobook via LibriVox

Tells the story of the Edward II’s reign, fall, and gruesome murder. Marlowe’s dramatization focuses on the relationship between Edward and Piers Gaveston, and indirectly engages the convoluted politics of Marlowe’s time as well as of the recent past. It is an important cultural, as well as dramatic, document from the early modern period for its treatment of sexuality and class.

All right, here we are, the last of the Christopher Marlowe plays I have lined up to listen to. I think there’s only one or two titles after this that I haven’t read by him, but of the well-known ones this is the last of them. It’s been an interesting experience thus far listening to plays by Shakespeare’s contemporary.

Also, hee hee, shiny new Christopher Marlowe author tag 😉

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Review: Tamburlaine

Posted 8 April, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Tamburlaine
By: Christopher Marlowe
Format/Source: Audiobook via LibriVox

From one of England’s greatest playwrights, a remarkably inventive and poetically expressive work that set the form for later Elizabethan dramas. The 2-part romantic tragedy focuses on Tamburlaine — a Mongol warrior whose relentless rise to greatness and power, together with his enormous greed and vanity, culminates in his eventual downfall.

I initially shied away from jumping into the next Marlowe play after listening to The Jew of Malta (review) because this play was divided into two parts; wasn’t entirely feeling up to listening to both at the time. But seeing as I’m in the middle of a Shakespeare kick and in the need of listening to a play, I finally decided to listen to this play 🙂

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Review: The Jew of Malta

Posted 27 February, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Jew of Malta
By: Christopher Marlowe
Format/Source: Audiobook via LibriVox

Prejudice, the intricacies of Mediterranean politics, and Machiavellian strategy abound in this masterpiece of Elizabethan theater. The eponymous character in this suspenseful drama, a prototype for Shakespeare’s Shylock, schemes desperately against Christian and Moslem hostility to cling to his wealth, his status, and his daughter.

So I’m finally getting around to Marlowe’s other plays. I decided to start with this play because of the connection to Shakespeare’s Shylock, but also because it seemed shorter (not quite ready to tackle the two-parter Tamburlaine).

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Review: The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus

Posted 26 February, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus
By: Christopher Marlowe
Format/Source: Audiobook via LibriVox

Faustus, a brilliant scholar, sells his soul to the devil in exchange for limitless knowledge and powerful black magic, yet remains unfulfilled. He considers repenting, but remains too proud to ask God for forgiveness. His indecision ultimately seals his fate.

I first read this play back in 2013; Christopher Marlowe has been on my radar for some time, having learned that he was a contemporary of William Shakespeare. I never reviewed the play, and barely recalled my impressions of it, so I decided to re-read (well, listen) it again, particularly as I’ve exhausted the Shakespeare plays on my tbr pile at the moment 😉

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