1675 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Christopher Marlowe

Edward Phillips, in Theatrum Poetarum (1675) 2:24-25.



Christopher Marlow, a kind of a second Shakesphear (whose contemporary he was) not only because like him he rose from an Actor to be a maker of Plays, though inferiour both in Fame and Merit; but also because in his begun Poem of Hero and Leander, he seems to have a resemblance of that clean and unsophisticated Wit, which is natural to that incomparable Poet; this Poem being left unfinished by Marlow, who in some riotous Fray came to an untimely and violent End, was thought worthy of the finishing Hand of Chapman; in the performance whereof nevertheless he fell short of the Spirit and Invention with which it was begun; of all that he hath written to the Stage his Dr. Faustus hath made the greatest noise with its Devils and such like Tragical sport, nor are his other 2 Tragedies to be forgotten, namely his Edw. the II. and Massacre at Paris, besides his Jew of Malta a Tragecomedie, and his Tragedy of Dido, in which he was joyned with Nash.