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Bio Evidence Conclusion Links


  Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury in 1564, the same year as William Shakespeare. Though his father was only a shoemaker, Marlowe was educated at King's School and awarded a scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. While at Corpus Christi he studied philosophy, history, and theology.

  At this point Marlowe disappeared from university, and later speculation was that he was recruited by the government for espionage work. When he returned to Cambridge, Marlowe was refused his M.A. degree due to suspected Catholic sympathies, until the Queen's Privy Council intervened on his behalf.

  In 1587 Marlowe left Cambridge again, this time for the life of a London playwright. His first major work, Tamburlaine the Great, was performed in that year.

  Christopher Marlowe was a quick-tempered man, quick to anger and quick to make enemies. He spent two weeks in Newgate Gaol in 1589, charged with murder, though he was later acquitted. Although suspected of a variety of crimes ranging from heresy to homosexuality, it seems clear that Marlowe's unknown government connections kept him out of serious trouble.

  Marlowe's dramatic career was only to span six short years. In that time he wrote The Jew of Malta, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, The Queen of Carthage, Edward II, and The Massacre at Paris. His work ranged from tragedy to historical drama, but he also wrote popular poetry such as Hero and Leander, and The Passionate Shepherd.

  The difficulty in evaluating Marlowe's work is that so few good copies exist. None of his plays were ever properly published. His great contribution to English theatre must lie in his influential use of blank verse in writing his dramatic works. Marlowe was the first to use blank verse in drama, but William Shakespeare soon followed his example to great acclaim.

  Christopher Marlowe's death in 1593 was as shrouded in mystery as his life was clouded by controversy. The long-accepted version is that he and a close friend, one Ingram Frizer, dined in a tavern in Deptford. The two men quarreled over paying the bill, and in the fight that followed, Marlowe grabbed Frizer's dagger and attacked him from behind. Frizer managed to wrest the dagger from Marlowe and stabbed the author fatally in the eye.

  However, the truth may not be so straightforward. One week before his death, Marlowe's roommate Thomas Kyd, was kidnapped and tortured by the Queen's Privy Council into implicating the author as a heretic and an atheist. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but death intervened.

  Speculation has persisted that Marlowe's death was faked on Walsingham's orders, to put an end to the Privy Council's pursuit of his protege. Even more outrageous theories have surfaced that the well-educated Marlowe was actually responsible for much of the work attributed to Shakespeare.


  It is believed that Marlowe was a spy in Elizabeth I’s secret service. It is also believed that he fled to England to escape from Star Chamber, which was Protestant England’s equivalent of the Inquisition. From there it is thought that Marlowe fled to Italy during the Italian Renaissance where he wrote his masterpieces and sent them back to Sir Thomas Walsingham, cousin of Sir Francis Walsingham, Elizabeth’s spy master. The works were to be recopied in another’s hand writing and passed on to a front man -actor William Shakespeare - who would bring them to the stage.

  The writer of the plays that are attributed to Shakespeare were written by an intelligent mind who must have had a highly prestigious education. An education such as Marlowe’s at Corpus Christie College in Cambridge rather than the assumption that Shakespeare could read or even write for that matter. During the Elizabethan era and actor suspected to been and author would have been tortured to death. The oppressive nature of the time led to the torturing, arresting and murdering of many writers, which also led to the burning of their works. So it wouldn’t make sense that Shakespeare would have even secretly admitted to writing his works.

  There are striking similarities between Marlow’s works and those written by Shakespeare. These similarities are known as “parallelisms”: lines and passages from Marlowe’s plays and poems that are echoed, if not quoted verbatim, in Shakespeare’s.

  For example, in Marlowe’s Tamburlaine contains the lines, “Holla, ye pampered jades of Asia/ what, can ye draw but twenty miles a day?” Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II has this: “And hollow pampered jades of Asia,/ Which cannot go but thirty miles a day.” Thirty pages of these parallelisms were compiled between the two works.

  Many supporters of Shakespeare argue that both writing styles of Marlowe and Shakespeare differ greatly in tone. However, Marlowe supporters attribute these differences to natural maturation. For example, Picasso during his Blue Period is totally different from his style of painting for anything before that. There has never been proof of Marlow’s death. His body is buried in Sir Nicholas Churchyard in the Plague Pit where there are no tombstones or names whatsoever, only unmarked buried corpses. And in those times, when a prolific writer, such as Marlowe, dies they (the writers) are usually widespread grieved for and given a proper formal burial, not just being thrown into the ground.

  Astonishingly Christopher Marlowe reappears in the diplomatic records in 1599. It's not a very likely occurrence, since a spymaster cannot have two agents with the same name, because in a crisis he might confuse them. Nevertheless scholars have simply thought another Christopher Marlowe surfaced. He was identified as the Trinity Marlowe, having been a Corpus Christie scholar. However the Trinity Marlowe now proves dead in 1596 or three years before his name shows up in the diplomatic records.

  So scholars must now choose between the "dead" poet/spy and the "dead" Trinity scholar, as to which one was spotted in 1599 and again 1602. I'm betting on the poet/spy, who is said to have been at Rheims, the English Catholic seminary in France, the analog of Spain's Valladolid. Marlowe's OKS classmates were at both institutions, one of them as provost. The first and second citing of him were at Valladolid, the third in Gatehouse prison, the bill for his billet sent to Cecil. Importantly this Christopher Marlowe entered Valladolid on May 20/30, 1599 or six years to the day from Marlowe's last official appearance.

  The Works of “Shakespeare” began to arise weeks after the supposed death of Marlowe. Yet nowork that was “Shakespeare’s” surfaced until after Marlowe was officially buried.

  Only Marlowe and "Shakespeare" used words that average 4.2 letters in length. This "proof" remains one of the best keys scholars have towards establishing the possibility that both writers were the same individual. If their average word size were different, it wouldn't be very likely that they were the same writers. Moreover average word size has proven a steady indicator of authorship. Paradoxically while "Shakespeare" and Marlowe use large words, "they" use so many short one's his average word size is smaller than many writers.'my names shakespeare, and Im the biggest idiot ever'

  As it now stands most scholars believe Marlowe died on May 30, 1593 and that Shakespeare simply appeared a few weeks later, in full possession of Marlowe's extraordinary powers, opinions, and memories, not to mention papers, manuscripts and other intellectual properties. One of them, Jonathan Bate, thinks of Shakespeare and Marlowe as "twins." Biographically it's an odd, even preposterous claim, but it’s all the record has allowed. Until now, that is. Because it can now be proven that Marlowe survived in 1593. According to his inquest, Marlowe was allegedly stabbed to death in Deptford, Kent in a drunken quarrel with a servant of Sir Thomas Walsingham, named Ingram Frizer, who supposedly acted in self-defense. The alleged slaying took place in the home of Eleanor Bull, once believed to have been a tavern or a brothel, but now correctly identified as an upper class home of an ancient armorial family, with kinship links to the Queen and Lord Burghley. One of Eleanor's sons, Nathaniel Bull, proves to have been a classmate of young Marlowe's at the King's School. Other authorities are now calling the home a "safe-house" where Burghley kept agents awaiting orders.

  Marlowes’ story is retold over and over in Shakespeare’s work. Marlowe was going to be exiled but he supposedly “ died,” and we believe that he could have “resurrected form the dead and took up a false identity Shakespeare. Most of the plays contain themes of an exile who wants to return (i.e. The Two Gentlemen Of Verona), false identity (i.e. Twelfth Night), and people who have resurrected form the dead (i.e. Macbeth and Hamlet).


  In conclusion, our group believes that Christopher Marlowe is indeed the true writer of "Shakespeare's" work and faked his own death in 1593.

  How could a man with no known education be the writer of such great pieces of literature? A man who people are not even sure could read or write. A man who when he died did not even own a book, manuscript or paperwork? And when he died he did not even recieve any recognition of it. A supposed "writer" whose death record labels him a gentleman, not a writer.

  No, it is obvious that the writer of Shakespeare was a well educated Cambridge scholar. Someone who was a world known author who had to fake his own death to stay alive and free. And that man is Christopher Marlowe.


For more information, click on these links.
Christopher Marlowe's Authorship of the Works attributed to William Shakespeare