Christopher Marlowe

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Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?

Christopher Marlowe (c. 26 February 156430 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era.


  • Come live with me and be my Love,
    And we will all the pleasures prove
    That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
    Or woods or steepy mountain yields.

    And we will sit upon the rocks,
    And see the shepherds feed their flocks
    By shallow rivers, to whose falls
    Melodious birds sing madrigals.

    And I will make thee beds of roses
    And a thousand fragrant posies.

    • The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (unknown date), stanzas 1 and 2. Compare: "To shallow rivers, to whose falls Melodious birds sings madrigals; There will we make our peds of roses, And a thousand fragrant posies", William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor, act iii. scene i. (Sung by Evans).


Edward the Second (c. 1591)[edit]

  • And let these tears, distilling from mine eyes,
    Be proof of my grief and innocency.
  • My swelling heart for very anger breaks.
  • What should a priest do with so fair a house?
    A prison may best beseem his holiness.

Tamburlaine the Great (1590)[edit]

Part 1[edit]

  • Is it not brave to be a king, Techelles?
    Usumcasane and Theridamas,
    Is it not passing brave to be a king,
    And ride in triumph through Persepolis?
  • And sooner shall the sun fall from his sphere
    Than Tamburlaine be slain or overcome.
  • From jigging veins of rhyming mother wits,
    And such conceits as clownage keeps in pay,
    We'll lead you to the stately tent of war,
    Where you shall hear the Scythian Tamburlaine
    Threatening the world with high astounding terms,
    And scourging kingdoms with his conquering sword.
    View but his picture in this tragic glass,
    And then applaud his fortunes as you please.

Part 2[edit]

  • Where death cuts off the progress of his pomp
    And murderous fates throw all his triumphs down.
  • Well, bark, ye dogs; I'll bridle all your tongues.
  • Let Earth and Heaven his timeless death deplore,
    For both their worths shall equal him no more.
  • Come, let us march against the powers of heaven,
    And set black streamers in the firmament,
    To signify the slaughter of the gods.

The Jew of Malta (c. 1592)[edit]

Act I[edit]

  • I count religion but a childish toy,
    And hold there is no sin but ignorance.
  • Infinite riches in a little room.
  • Excess of wealth is cause of covetousness.

Act II[edit]

  • Now will I show myself to have more of the serpent than the dove; that is, more knave than fool.
    • Cf. "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves", Matthew 10:16.
  • Now I will show myself
    To have more of the serpent than the dove;
    That is—more knave than fool.
  • So march away, and let due praise be given
    Neither to fate nor fortune, but to Heaven.

Act IV[edit]

  • Love me little, love me long.
    • Cf. "Love me litle, love me long", John Heywood, Proverbes, Part ii, Chapter ii.
  • That was in another country, and besides, the wench is dead.
  • FRIAR BARNARDINE. Thou hast committed--
    BARABAS. Fornication: but that was in another country; And besides, the wench is dead.

The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus (1604)[edit]

Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscrib'd
In one self place; but where we are is hell,
And where hell is, there must we ever be.
  • If we say that we have no sin
    We deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us.
    Why then, belike, we must sin,
    And consequently die.
    Ay, we must die an everlasting death.
    • 1.1.41 Faustus.
  • What doctrine call you this, Che serà, serà:
    What will be, shall be? Divinity, adieu!
    • 1.1.47 Faustus.
  • Oh Faustus, lay that damned book aside,
    And gaze not on it lest it tempt thy soul
    And heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head.
    • 1.1.69 Good Angel
  • How am I glutted with conceit of this!
    Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please,
    Resolve me of all ambiguities,
    Perform what desperate enterprise I will?
    • 1.1.77 Faustus.
  • Why this is hell, nor am I out of it.
    Think'st thou that I, who saw the face of God,
    And tasted the eternal joy of Heaven,
    Am not tormented with ten thousand hells
    In being depriv'd of everlasting bliss?
    • 1.3.76 Mephistopheles.
  • Now, Faustus, must thou needs be damned?
    And canst thou not be saved?
    What boots it then to think on God or heaven?
    Away with such vain fancies and despair,
    Despair in God and trust in Beelzebub.
    Now go not backward. No, Faustus, be resolute.
    Why waverest thou? Oh, something soundeth in mine ears
    Abjure this magic, turn to God again.
    • 1.5.1 Faustus.
  • When all the world dissolves,
    And every creature shall be purified,
    All places shall be hell that are not heaven.
    • 2.1.120 Mephistopheles.
  • Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscrib'd
    In one self place; but where we are is hell,
    And where hell is, there must we ever be.
    • 2.1.118 Mephistopheles.
  • My heart is harden'd, I cannot repent.
    • 2.3.18 Faustus.
  • Oh gentle Faustus, leave this damned art,
    This magic, that will charm they soul to hell,
    And quite bereave thee of salvation.
    Though thou hast now offended like a man,
    Do not persever in it like a devil.
    • 5.1.35 Old Man
  • Accursed Faustus, wretch, what hast thou done?
    I do repent, and yet I do despair.
    Hell strives with grace for conquest in my breast.
    What shall I do to shun the snares of death?
    • 5.1.68 Faustus.
  • Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
    And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
    Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss!
    • 5.1.93 Faustus.
  • O, thou art fairer than the evening air
    Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars.
    • 5.1.106 Faustus.
  • Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.
    Her lips suck forth my soul: see where it flies.
    Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
    • 5.2.99 Faustus.
  • No, Faustus, curse thyself, curse Lucifer,
    That hath deprived thee of the joys of heaven.
    The clock strikes twelve.
    Oh, it strikes, it strikes! Now body turn to air,
    Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell.
    Oh soul, be changed into little water drops
    And fall into the ocean, ne'er be found.
    My God, my God, look not so fierce on me.
    Adders and serpents, let me breathe awhile.
    Ugly hell, gape not, come not, Lucifer!
    • 5.2.191 Faustus.
  • Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
    And burnèd is Apollo's laurel bough,
    That sometime grew within this learnèd man.
    Faustus is gone. Regard his hellish fall,
    Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise
    Only to wonder at unlawful things,
    Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits,
    To practise more than heavenly power permits.
    • [Epilogue] Chorus.


  • Comparisons are odious.
    • Lust's Dominion (c. 1600), Act iii. scene 4. The first edition attributed the authorship of this play to Marlowe, though this attribution has been recognized as spurious by critics and scholars for nearly two centuries. See Logan and Smith, Predecessors of Shakespeare, p. 32. But compare: "Comparisons are odious", John Fortescue, De Laudibus Leg. Angliæ, Chapter xix.
  • I'm armed with more than complete steel,—
    The justice of my quarrel.
    • Lust's Dominion (c. 1600), Act iii. scene 4. Compare: "Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just, And he but naked, though locked up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted", William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Act iii. scene 2.
  • All they that love not tobacco and boys are fools.
    • Remark attributed to Marlowe from the testimony of Richard Baines, a government informer, in 1593.

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