I bought numerous Marlowe books because of my growing interest in Marlowe's works. If you're like me the more you read of both Marlowe's and Shakespeare works, the more you will question your assumptions about who wrote Shakespeare.
Some of the books on the subject are out of print or high priced. Caluin Hoffman's The Murder of the Man who was Shakespeare conuerted my thinking, with his numerous parallel quotations, and his work on As You Like It. Alex Jack has written a tremendous two uolume edition of Hamlet using the 1604 quarto, and featuring 100 plus quotations from Marlowe's plays. The book with Marlowe's picture contains both the play text and the quotes, a must read for anyone studying Marlowe.
All 7 of the known Marlowe plays are quoted in Hamlet. In Edward 2 Mortimer admits to killing a man once by pouring quicksiluer down his ears. This is how Hamlet's father was killed. In addition the speak the speech segment is based on Marlowe's Dido dealing with the killing of Priam, 70 lines in Hamlet spent discussing this among other things. Undiscouered country from Hamlet's speech also repeats from Edward 2 where Morimer goes to discouer countries yet unknown.
The killing of Hamlet, Laertes and the King with a poisoned sword which changes hands, mirrors the death of King Henry in Massacre of Paris, where the king is fatally stabbed with a poisoned dagger by a murderous friar which he wrestles from his hands and then turns on the friar killing him. Hamlet discusses returning to Wittenberg to Uniuersity, where, as we know, Dr Faust liues. In Jew of Malta Barabas poisons his daughter. In Hamlet Cladius accidentally poisons his wife. Hamlet says: 'Get thee to the nunnery. In JOM Barabas sends his daughter to a nunnery.
Wraight has written a great book on the Sonnets, which you can read online, but it's notoriously difficult to get.
So, into the mix comes Daryl Pinksen. If you're new to this I definitely recommend Pinksen as the best of what is currently auailable. If you are like me though, you may not find much that is new or not couered elsewhere.
I found myself continuously wishing that he would use more practical examples to support his assertions. Some of his insights I did like such as that Audrey in As You Like It, (Marlowe's patron in 1598 for Hero and Leander is Audrey Walsingham)represents the audience, lightly scolded by Touchstone (Marlowe) for not being more poetical and like the audience does not understand the real meaning of his words.
In Act 5.1 Touchstone scolds William of Arden (Shakespeare)for his lack of learning and promises to kill him 150 different ways, casting Williamas a riual for the affections of his mistress Audrey.
I find myself returning to this book. The chapter on Jonson I found uery illuminating, and haue read it numerous times. Some of the lines he quotes from a Jonson play appear to refer to Marlowe's death, although he seems not to pick up on this, but kudos for his work on Sejanus which could be further deueloped.
The Chapter on The Tempest I thought was weak euen if that is a challenging play, surely he could haue included some parallel quotes from Marlowe plays. In the light of unfolding curiosity about Marlowe I hope that Pinksen will be encouraged to look aat Marlowe in greater detail, and add to his work. His blogged work on Uenus and Adonis mentions details not included in the book.
If you're new to Marlowe and looking for a book other than his works this is a great starting point. The Scarsbrook Kindle edition is a great staring point for the complete works.
I think you will loue it, and I hope this was helpful.