1719 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Christopher Marlowe

Giles Jacob, in Poetical Register: or the Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets (1719) 171-72.



A Poet and a Player in the Reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James. He was Contemporary with the immortal Shakspear, and was Fellow-Actor with Heywood. His Genius inclin'd to Tragedy, and he both wrote and acted with Applause. His Plays are as follow:

I. TAMBERLAIN the Great, or The Scythian Shepherd; a Tragedy, in Two Parts, acted by the Lord Admiral's Servants, 1593. For the Story see Jean du Bec, Laonicus, Chalcocondilas, Pet. Bizarus, Knolles's Hist. Turks, L'Historie de Tamerlain, &c.

II. The Jew of Malta; a Tragi-Comedy, acted at White-Hall before the King and Queen, and at the Cockpit by her Majesty's Servants, 1633. This Play was very much applauded.

III. Lust's Dominion, or The Lascivious Queen; a Tragedy. Dedicated to William Carpenter, Esq. This Play was alter'd by Mrs. Behn, and acted under the Title of Abdelazer, or The Moor's Revenge.

IV. EDWARD the Second; a Tragedy. The Story is taken from Thomas de la More, Sir Francis Hubert, Walsingham, and other Historians of those Times.

V. The Massacre at Paris, with the Death of the Duke of Guise, a Tragedy, acted by the Lord Admiral's Servants. This Play is not divided into Acts. Plot from Davila, Thuanus, Mezaray, &c. in the Reigns of Charles IX, and Henry III of France.

VI. Dr. FAUSTUS'S Tragical History. The last Edition of this Play was printed in 1661. It is founded on Camerarii Hor. Subcisiv. Cent. 1. cap. 70. Wierus de Praestig. Daemonum, lib. 2. c. 4. Lonicerus, &c.

This Author join'd with Mr. Nash in writing a Play, call'd, DIDO, Queen of Carthage. He likewise wrote a Poem, call'd HERO and LEANDER, commended by Ben Johnson, in a Copy of Verses, call'd, A Censure of the Poets, wherein speaking of Mr. Marlow's Fire in his Writings, are the following Lines,

And that fine Madness still he did retain,
Which rightly should possess a Poet's Brain.