1st Edition

Shakespeare's Marlowe The Influence of Christopher Marlowe on Shakespeare's Artistry

By Robert A. Logan Copyright 2007

    Moving beyond traditional studies of sources and influence, Shakespeare's Marlowe analyzes the uncommonly powerful aesthetic bond between Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. Not only does this study take into account recent ideas about intertextuality, but it also shows how the process of tracking Marlowe's influence itself prompts questions and reflections that illuminate the dramatists' connections. Further, after questioning the commonly held view of Marlowe and Shakespeare as rivals, the individual chapters suggest new possible interrelationships in the formation of Shakespeare's works. Such examination of Shakespeare's Marlovian inheritance enhances our understanding of the dramaturgical strategies of each writer and illuminates the importance of such strategies as shaping forces on their works. Robert Logan here makes plain how Shakespeare incorporated into his own work the dramaturgical and literary devices that resulted in Marlowe's artistic and commercial success. Logan shows how Shakespeare's examination of the mechanics of his fellow dramatist's artistry led him to absorb and develop three especially powerful influences: Marlowe's remarkable verbal dexterity, his imaginative flexibility in reconfiguring standard notions of dramatic genres, and his astute use of ambivalence and ambiguity. This study therefore argues that Marlowe and Shakespeare regarded one another not chiefly as writers with great themes, but as practicing dramatists and poets-which is where, Logan contends, the influence begins and ends.

    Acknowledgments; Chapter 1 Marlowe and Shakespeare: Repositioning the Question of Sources and Influence; Chapter 2 “Unfelt Imaginations”: Influence and Characterization in The Massacre At Paris, Titus Andronicus, and Richard III; Chapter 3 Hero and Leander and Venus and Adonis: Artistic Individuality and the Ideology of Containment; Chapter 4 Edward II, Richard II, the Will to Play, and an Aesthetic of Ambiguity; Chapter 5 “For a Tricksy Word / Defy the Matter”: The Influence of The Jew of Malta on The Merchant of Venice; Chapter 6 Marlowe’s Tamburlaine Plays, Shakespeare’s Henry V, and the Primacy of an Artistic Consciousness; Chapter 7 Making the Haunt His: Dido, Queen of Carthage as a Precursor to Antony and Cleopatra; Chapter 8 “Glutted with Conceit”: Imprints of Doctor Faustus on Macbeth and The Tempest; Chapter 9 Conclusion: Marlovian Incentives;


    Robert Logan teaches at the University of Hartford, USA, where for ten years he also acted as Chairman of thae English department. In 1998, he was appointed Director of the University's Humanities Center and from 2000-2004 held the office of President of The Marlowe Society of America. He co-edited, with Sara Munson Deats, Marlowe's Empery: Expanding His Critical Contexts.

    Prize: Winner of the 2009 Roma Gill Prize, awarded by the Marlowe Society of America Prize: A Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2007 '... A definitive, wide-ranging study...the author intelligently explores the whole idea of sources, influences, and intertextuality...provides the reader with rich insights into both Shakespeare and Marlowe.' Maurice Charney, Rutgers University and author of Love and Lust in Shakespeare ’... well worth reading for its provision of much fresh material for further discussion.’ Times Literary Supplement ’Lucid and well written, this study enriches understanding of both playwrights, and it is must reading for anyone with an interest in Marlowe or Shakespeare. Essential.’ Choice ’As well as being scrupulous in its distinctions, the book is well researched... Another strength is that [Logan] offers often very sensitive readings of the texts of both authors... He is also very witty... Logan's sustained comparison of the two writers reaches some surprising conclusions... this is a sound, scholarly, and valuable book.’ Notes and Queries ’Logan has indeed found new things to say about the long-standing issue of the nature of Shakespeare’s debt to Marlowe, and the intertextual analyses in Shakespeare’s Marlowe shed helpful light upon the texts of both playwrights.’ Journal of British Studies ’... Logan's book is likely to become a standard work on the subject.’ Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England '... [Logan's] book opens up new ways of thinking about the creative relationship between these two dramatists.' Early Modern Literary Studies