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 thoughts on “How Much Marlowe?

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

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