The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0045 Monday, 11 January 1999.
Date: Sunday, 10 Jan 1999 16:55:01 +0000
Subject: 10.0035 Re: Massacre at Paris
Comment: Re: SHK 10.0035 Re: Massacre at Paris
Stephanie Hughes wrote:
> I noticed that Massacre at Paris is about half the length of Faustus,
> Tamburlaine or Malta, which causes me to think that it may have been
> severely edited.
The main problem with Massacre is that the text is severely corrupt.
The version that we have inherited is widely acknowledged as a very poor
text, its frequent oddities and occasional gibberish implying that it is
a memorial reconstruction. Running to only around 1,250 lines, it is
half the length of The Jew of Malta or Edward II, and the blank verse is
strikingly uneven, further evidence of the corrupt nature of the text.
The date of the text we have is not given on the title page; the best
guess is 1602 for a play that probably dates from around 1592. It's
quite fun to read, probably not very rewarding to stage, and is strongly
anti-Catholic, in the pattern of _The Jew_ and Faustus.
Incidentally, there is a manuscript leaf of Massacre at the Folger. As
far as I can tell, the latest consensus on this is that it may well have
been written by Marlowe himself. Or has that been discredited since
Adams and Boas?