Marlowe, Christopher (1564-93), is supposed to have been the son of a Canterbury shoemaker.
After leaving the King's School there, he went to Corpus Christi (then Benet College), Cambridge, and took his degrees in Arts. We know little of his life before he began writing. It is certain that he was killed in a tavern brawl at Deptford in May, 1593. Marlowe was great both as a dramatic and a lyric poet. His Tamburlaine the Great, printed in 1590, but acted probably some years earlier, is memorable chiefly as the first example of blank verse worthy of the name. The Tragical History of Boctor Faustus, on the other hand, the first edition of which is of the date 1604, has both dramatic power and contains passages of intense lyrical beauty. The Jem of Malta is strong in the first two acts, but thenceforth degenerates. Edward II, produced about 1590, is Marlowe's most finished work. Marlowe had a great share in some plays popularly ascribed to Shakespeare, such as King Henry VI. and Titus Andronicus. Marlowe's unfinished lyric, Hero and Leander (1598), is one of the most beautiful in the language. Chapman was entrusted by the author with its completion. The pastoral poem, Come Live with me, and be my Love, which is generally printed in volumes containing Shakespeare's sonnets and lyrics, is also most probably Marlowe's.