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Tony Grist

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Kit And Will [Jul. 26th, 2017|09:09 am]
Tony Grist
I've been looking at the case for Christopher Marlowe having faked his death and come back as Shakespeare. Verdict: unprovable but not implausible. There are no clinchers.


Marlowe and Shakespeare were the same age. Marlowe died at 29 having already established himself as playwright, poet and man about town whereas Shakespeare was a late developer, and only appeared as an author- with the Marlovian Venus and Adonis- a couple of months after Marlowe's death. The one takes up where the other finishes.

I read Marlowe's Edward II. It's has all the qualities we call Shakespearian- the poetry, the stagecraft, the ability to see all sides of a question, the mastery of pathos- and resembles Richard II to the point of making the later play seem like an imitation or riposte- but one that improves on the original- which is not something one expects a mere copyist to pull off- unless of course- it were a case of a master in competition with himself.

So either we have two great writers- of an age- with remarkably similar skill-sets- the one beginning his career just as the other cashes in his chips- or else...

[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2017-07-27 08:01 am (UTC)
I think that's what would have happened. Kit is living abroad, working for the government- and sends manuscripts home- possibly in the diplomatic bag. Will- the theatrical entrepreneur- receives them and passes them off as his own. Maybe Will is already a bit of a writer- botching up old plays and such- so no-one turns a hair when he starts producing masterpieces. The players notice (and this is on the record) that Will's scripts are very neat and tidy- with no crossings out or revisions- and perhaps that's because they're fair copies- in Will's hand-writing- of Kit's messy originals.
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