The legacy of Elizabethan playwrights extends beyond Marlowe and Shakespeare, with attributions often challenging to determine.

Lust’s Dominion

The first surviving printing of Lust’s Dominion, from 1657, attributes authorship to Christopher Marlowe on the title page. The play, resembling Kyd’s The Spanish Tragedy or Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, had its Marlowe attribution unchallenged until 1825. Despite Ludwig Tieck’s endorsement as Marlowe’s work in 1823,1 subsequent scrutiny, notably by J. P. Collier, revealed scene I,3 borrowed heavily from a pamphlet about Philip II of Spain’s death, published in England in 1599. Marlowe’s sole authorship was cast into doubt. Since then, various theories have surfaced regarding authorship, but consensus remains elusive, although it is widely accepted Marlowe did not pen the play as it stands.3

Arden of Faversham

Written in 1592, this play is considered England’s first bourgeois drama, inspired by Thomas Arden’s murder by his wife Alice and her lover in 1551. Marlowe, likely aware of the event given its proximity to Canterbury, may have drawn inspiration from it. The incident’s notoriety even earned it a place in Holinshed’s Chronicles.

The Rape of Helen

Thomas Coxeter, an 18th-century biographer, suggested Marlowe translated Thomas Watson’s Helenae Raptus into English. While Watson’s Latin version of Coluthu’s The Rape of Helen is known, Marlowe’s translation, if it ever existed, has not survived.

The Troublesome Reign of King John of England

Comprising two parts, this play likely originated in 1589 and was published in 1591, attributed to the Queen’s Men. A passing mention of Tamburlaine in the prologue is the only possible link to Marlowe.

Henry VI

In 2016, the New Oxford Shakespeare edition named Marlowe as co-author of Shakespeare’s Henry VI. This acknowledgment does not cast doubt on Shakespeare’s existence but reflects findings from computer-assisted analysis tools examining the text corpus.

Edward III

The authorship of this work has sparked speculation, with Marlowe among the potential candidates. However, Shakespeare is currently favored as the likely author.

Ayres, Philip J. 1970. “The Revision of ’Lust’s Dominion’.” Notes and Queries 17 (6): 212–13. https://doi.org/10.1093/nq/17-6-212b.
Cross, K. Gustav. 1958. “The Authorship of Lust’s Dominion.” Studies in Philology 55 (1): 39–61.
Tieck, Ludwig, ed. 1823. Shakespeare’s Vorschule: Herausgegeben Und Mit Vorreden Begleitet von Ludwig Tieck. Vol. 1. Leipzig: Brockhaus.

  1. Tieck (1823)↩︎
  2. Cross (1958)↩︎
  3. Ayres (1970)↩︎

Aktualisiert am 24.05.2024

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