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MonkeyNotes-Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Author Information

Christopher Marlowe, the son of a shoemaker, was born in Canterbury in February of 1564. He was educated at King’s School, in Canterbury, and at Corpus Christi College, in Cambridge. He earned a B.A. in 1584 and an M.A. in 1587. After receiving his M.A. degree, Marlowe left Cambridge for London. By this time he had completed the first part of Tamburlaine the Great. In London, he got acquainted with other poets and playwrights. He shared a room with Thomas Kyd. The second part of Tamburlaine was soon completed, and both plays were staged successfully.


In 1588 he worked on the poem, “The Massacre of Paris,” and the first part of Doctor Faustus. He enlisted himself as a member of Raleigh’s “School of Night.” Among “the university wits” he was known as a rash and quarrelsome person. In 1589 he was involved in a sword fight, for which he was jailed in the Newgate prison for a short time. In the same year, The Jew of Malta was performed. In 1592, Edward II was performed. This was followed by Doctor Faustus. In the following year, he wrote the incomplete poem, “Hero and Leander,” which was completed by George Chapman. On May 18, 1592, as a result of an accusation by Thomas Kyd and Robert Baines, a warrant was issued for Marlowe’s arrest. On May 30, 1593, he was killed by Ingram Frizer in a Deptford tavern after a quarrel over the bill.

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