Marlovian Theory

“Marlovians” are those who believe that Christopher Marlowe faked his own death. They argue that Marlowe needed a way to escape going to trial for being an atheist, or a double agent, or some other reason and therefore he staged a bar fight that resulted in his supposed death. One popular theory is that Marlowe continued writing under a new identity – specifically, Shakespeare’s. Another is that Marlowe went into hiding, but kept writing with Shakespeare. Some argue that recent proof of Marlowe’s hand in selected Shakespearean plays, specifically Henry VI parts I, II, and III, supports both theories. But the dates of composition for these plays are before Marlowe’s death. Although it’s fun to think about Shakespeare having alternate, Marlovian, identities, we do not believe that Shakespeare was “really” Marlowe, or vice versa.

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