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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: January ::
Re: Shakespeare and Marlowe
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0026  Thursday, 7 January 1999.

From:           Stevie Simkin <
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Date:           Wednesday, 06 Jan 1999 15:26:57 +0000
Subject: 10.0015  Re: Shakespeare and Marlowe
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0015  Re: Shakespeare and Marlowe

Scott Oldenburg wrote:

> Surely a further instance of Marlowe's influence on Shakespeare can be
> seen in the balcony scenes of The Jew of Malta (II.i) and Romeo and
> Juliet (II.ii).  These scenes are similar not only in their use of the
> balcony but also, I think, some lines seem similar: Barabas:  "But stay!
> What star shines yonder int he east? / The lodestar of my life, if
> Abigail. / Who's there?" (The Jew of Malta II.i.41-43).  Juliet:  "But
> soft! What light through yonder window breaks? / It is the east, and
> Juliet is the sun" (R&J II.ii.1-2).

This strikes me too as a little tribute to Marlowe.  The interesting
thing is that, in a performance today, the majority of the audience will
inevitably make the connection, and respond accordingly. If the
chronology wasn't out of whack, it would seem like Marlowe parodying
Shakespeare.  When I recently directed a production of JofM, Barabas
hammed this up shamelessly, and that is certainly the way it came
across.

Finally, I may have missed it, but if not I am surprised that no one has
mentioned James Shapiro's useful _Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Jonson,
Shakespeare_ in the context of this discussion.

Stevie Simkin
 

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