Thursday, August 04, 2011

How Much Marlowe?

How often did Shakespeare lift whole lines right from Marlowe's (or others', I suppose) work?  I'm curious.  Currently reading a novel about Shakespeare's life, and Kit Marlowe is a character.  Just this evening I read a funny bit where Marlowe is complimenting Shakespeare on his Henry VI and says, "I particularly liked the such-and-such part.......wait, didn't I write that?"

7 comments:

Milena said...

Which novel wee you reading? is it any good?!

Milena said...

Greetings from Skopje :) guess which country that is in?!:)

Sean O'Sullivan said...

Hi,
Here is a link address to a one
page article on the Marlowe/Shakes
influence by Charles Nicholl.
The "Dead shepherd..." line from "As You Like It" is usually given as the only time Shakespeare directly quotes another playwright's work - albeit not from a play, but a poem.

http://www.penguinclassics.co.uk/static/cs/uk/10/minisites/shakespeare/readmore/marlowe.html

No Marlowe, no Shakespeare worth
the name.

Sean O'Sullivan said...

Whoops! Here's the article address, hopefully complete this time:

http://www.penguinclassics.co.uk
/static/cs/uk/10/mimisites/ shakespeare/readmore/marlowe.html

Brian said...

IIRC In Julius Caesar he quotes directly from Plutarch. When Caesar's Ghost appears to Brutus.

Duane said...

Hi Milena! How is Macedonia? :)

The novel is "The Secret Confessions of Anne Shakespeare" (or something like that, I don't have it in front of me). I will post a review when complete. But I'm quite enjoying it, for what it is (basically, a historical romance novel that happens to be based on Shakespeare's life).

Thanks for the links, Sean!

Alexi said...

A lot of Pistol's lines in Henry IV, Part 2; Henry V; and Merry Wives are Marlowe pastiches. For example, he blurts out something high-falutin like "O base Hungarian wight, wilt thou the spigot wield?" which is, according to a note in a edition I read, a parody of a Marlowe line that goes something like "O base Gongarian, wilt thou the distaff wield?"

Additionally, the First Player's speech in Hamlet ("the rugged Pyrrus...") is consciously written in Marlovian style, and deals with the same subject matter as Aeneas' massive monologue in Dido, Queen of Carthage. It is even described as Aeneas' speech to Dido. The words, however, are Shakespeare's own, and his appropriation of Marlowe is also in the vein of tribute/parody, rather than plagiarism.