Marlowe vs. Shakespeare Comparison Essay by BrainC

Marlowe vs. Shakespeare
A comparative analysis of the work of Christopher Marlowe compared to that of William Shakespeare.
# 53268 | 1,307 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Oct 17, 2004 in Drama and Theater (English) , Literature (English) , Shakespeare (General)

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This paper examines how the Elizabethan dramatists Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare were contemporaries and how, for the latter part of Marlowe's dramatic career, they were rivals as well. It looks at how Marlowe's career as a playwright was cruelly cut short after the author was murdered in a tavern brawl, probably the result of his political intrigues. The paper shows that regardless of the reasons for Marlowe's untimely demise, the difference between the older Marlowe and the young Shakespeare had already become manifest in the characterization of the main protagonists of the two men's plays. It explores how Marlowe clearly influenced Shakespeare's early writings and how, while Marlowe used broad character brushstrokes to create a vivid narrative and caricature of human character and morality, Shakespeare created a new way of dramatically rendering the human character in shades of gray. In particular, it examines how both men used similar themes, such as the presence of "Jewish" values in a money-grubbing 'Christian' society.

From the Paper:

"All of Marlowe's protagonists are larger than life, from Barabas to Faustus and lastly to Tamburlaine, in the scope of their desires. They are both sustained and destroyed by their respective evils. Barabas' poisoning reflects the Jewish dietary laws that Shylock merely tacitly refers to, "I will not eat with you," in Act I of "The Merchant of Venice." Faustus is destroyed by his love of knowledge and power, just as Tamburlaine is destroyed by his desire to conquer the world. All of these men stand outside of their societies, and reflect what is wrong with their societies an over emphasis on money, scholasticism, and power respectively."

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