Christopher Marlowe: Merlin's Prophet

Overview

Mrs Weil challenges two widely accepted views of Marlowe. He is not the poet and dramatist of heroic energy, 'daring God out of heaven' with his outrageous heroes. Nor is he a dogmatic moralist. Instead, he belongs to Merlin's race, as his contemporary Robert Greene suggested. An ironic writer of riddling plays, he does not endorse his characters, but cunningly manipulates our responses to them. Like Erasmus or Rabelais, he uses the knowledge of his audience in a variety of surprising ways. This approach is ...

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Overview

Mrs Weil challenges two widely accepted views of Marlowe. He is not the poet and dramatist of heroic energy, 'daring God out of heaven' with his outrageous heroes. Nor is he a dogmatic moralist. Instead, he belongs to Merlin's race, as his contemporary Robert Greene suggested. An ironic writer of riddling plays, he does not endorse his characters, but cunningly manipulates our responses to them. Like Erasmus or Rabelais, he uses the knowledge of his audience in a variety of surprising ways. This approach is carefully argued for each play. The reader - perhaps initially sceptical - will find himself confronted with many features of the drama and the poetry not adequately accounted for in the conventional views, but persuasively explained here. The book may well permanently modify our attitudes toward Marlowe.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521090872
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/27/2008
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Marlowe's prophetic style; 3. Wicked fools of fortune; 4. The tragic folly of Doctor Faustus; 5. Mirrors for foolish princes; 6. Merlin's prophecies; 7. The difference of things in Edward II; 8. The prophetic spirit.

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