Marlowe's Ghost: The Blacklisting of the Man Who Was Shakespeare Hardcover – Jun 10 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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It is of particular note that Pinksen grounds his argument in Marlowe's revolutionary contribution to English theatre, a role acknowledged by mainstream literary scholars. He also draws entirely on mainstream literature to show that Shakespeare's works are not only indebted to Marlowe, but are generally seen as a development of Marlowe's works.
Pinksen covers a lot of ground, including Marlowe's apparent `murder' in 1593 and the grounds for doubting his death; the reasons for questioning that Shakespeare of Stratford wrote the works attributed to him; the relationship between Shakespeare and Jonson; the many allusions in Shakespeare's works to Marlowe's; the role played by the actor Shakespeare and in producing Marlowe's post-1593 works; and the autobiographical dimension of Marlowe's works as Shakespeare. Pinksen also discusses stylometric computer analyses of Marlowe's and Shakespeare's works. Interestingly, Pinksen draws an extended parallel with the blacklisting of authors during the McCarthy era, which to this day leaves a number of films wrongly attributed.
Last but not least, Pinksen shows that Marlowe is the only one of the alternative authorship candidates who had any real need to obscure his authorship, considering that he was a fugitive from the law who had probably been helped in his escape by people at the heart of Elizabeth's government.
What is thankfully missing from Pinksen's book are any unwarranted speculations about Marlowe's life after his faked death, bar for that he continued writing plays. Neither does Pinksen worry about numerous fringe issues, such as the identity of W.H. or the Dark Lady, which have occupied other proponents of Marlowe. A few minor flaws or unwarranted speculations can hence be forgiven.
Overall, Pinksen's book is an excellent and well written counter to the currently predominant anti-Stratfordian claim that Shakespeare's works were written by the Earl of Oxford.
Bruno even turns up, thinly disguised as `Saxon Bruno,' one of the central characters in Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus."
English dramatist, Christopher Marlowe is a fascinating historical character in his own right. Did he really die in a tavern brawl at age 29, or was he smuggled out of England by powerful friends to avoid charges of atheism (and a death similar to Bruno's), and continued to publish works that were `fronted' by one William Shake-Speare, "a businessman with no evidence of education, raised by illiterate parents, who fostered an illiterate household..."
This author isn't the first to present the theory that Marlowe was the real author behind the plays and sonnets attributed Shakespeare. Starting with It Was Marlowe (1895) by Wilber Gleason Zeigler (who also believed Marlowe was eventually murdered by Ben Jonson in 1598!) and continuing through Marlowe-Shakespeare Connection: A New Study of the Authorship Question(2008) by Samuel Blumenfeld , there are many historians with a "reluctance to believe that works of genius can be produced by a person of relatively humble birth or by one who did not enjoy a university education."
It was hard to shake the image of a balding, goateed playwright from my mind, but this author finally convinced me to do so in his chapter "Sonnets of Exile." If the Sonnets are as autobiographical as scholars purport them to be, they must have been written by Marlowe, not the businessman from Stratford. You need to read "Marlowe's Ghost" and decide for yourself who was the real author of the greatest dramas in the English language.
Review copy supplied by author