Christopher Marlowe

Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?

Christopher Marlowe (c. 26 February 156430 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era.


  • Like untuned golden strings all women are,
    Which long time lie untouch'd, will harshly jar.
    Vessels of brass oft handled brightly shine.
    • Hero and Leander
  • Come live with me and be my Love,
    And we will all the pleasures prove
    That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
    Or woods or steepy mountain yields.

    And we will sit upon the rocks,
    And see the shepherds feed their flocks
    By shallow rivers, to whose falls
    Melodious birds sing madrigals.

    And I will make thee beds of roses
    And a thousand fragrant posies.

    • The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (unknown date), stanzas 1 and 2. Compare: "To shallow rivers, to whose falls Melodious birds sings madrigals; There will we make our peds of roses, And a thousand fragrant posies", William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor, act iii. scene i. (Sung by Evans).

Dido (c. 1586)Edit

  • You sons of care, companions of my course!
    • Aeneas, Act I, scene i, line 142
  • Pluck up your hearts, since fate still rests our friend.
    • Aeneas, Act I, scene i, line 149
  • What strange arts necessity finds out.
    • Venus, Act I, scene i, line 169

Tamburlaine (c. 1588)Edit

Main article: Tamburlaine
  • Our swords shall play the orators for us.
    • Techelles, Act I, scene ii, line 132
  • Accurst be he that first invented war.
    • Mycetes, Part 1, Act II, scene iv, line 1
  • Let Earth and Heaven his timeless death deplore,
    For both their worths shall equal him no more.
    • Amyras, Part 2, Act V, scene iii, lines 252–253

The Jew of Malta (c. 1589)Edit

  • I count religion but a childish toy,
    And hold there is no sin but ignorance.
    • Machiavel, Prologue
  • And thus methinks should men of judgment frame
    Their means of traffic from the vulgar trade,
    And, as their wealth increaseth, so inclose
    Infinite riches in a little room.
    • Machiavel, Prologue. Paraphrasing John Heywood, "Here lyeth muche rychnesse in lytell space," in The Foure PP (c. 1530).
  • Excess of wealth is cause of covetousness.
    • Ferneze, Act I, scene ii
  • Now will I show myself to have more of the serpent than the dove; that is, more knave than fool.
    • Barabas, Act II, scene iii. Marlowe is referencing Jesus, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves," in Matthew 10:16.
  • Thou hast committed—
    Fornication: but that was in another country;
    And besides, the wench is dead.
    • Friar Barnardine and Barabas, Act IV, scene i
  • Love me little, love me long.
    • Ithamore, Act IV. Quoting John Heywood, "Love me litle, love me long," in Proverbes (c. 1538), Part ii, Chapter ii.
  • So, march away; and let due praise be given
    Neither to fate nor fortune, but to Heaven.
    • Ferneze, Act V

Edward II (c. 1592)Edit

  • My men, like satyrs grazing on the lawns,
    Shall with their goat feet dance the antic hay.
    • Gaveston, Act I, scene i, lines 57–58
  • What should a priest do with so fair a house?
    A prison may best beseem his holiness.
    • Gaveston, Act I, scene i, lines 204–205
  • My swelling heart for very anger breaks.
    • King Edward, Act II, scene ii, line 197
  • And let these tears, distilling from mine eyes,
    Be proof of my grief and innocency.
    • Mortimer, Act V, scene vi, line 100

Doctor Faustus (c. 1593)Edit

Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscrib'd
In one self place; but where we are is hell,
And where hell is, there must we ever be.
Main article: Doctor Faustus
  • Che serà, serà:
    What will be, shall be.
    • Faustus, Act I, scene i, lines 47–58
  • Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscrib'd
    In one self place; but where we are is hell,
    And where hell is, there must we ever be.
    • Mephistopheles, Act II, scene i, line 118
  • When all the world dissolves,
    And every creature shall be purified,
    All places shall be hell that are not heaven.
  • Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
    And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
    Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss!
    • Faustus, Act V, scene i, lines 91–93
  • Pray for me! and what noise soever ye hear, come not unto me, for nothing can rescue me.
    • Faustus, Act V, scene ii, lines 57–58


  • Comparisons are odious.
    • Lust's Dominion (c. 1600), Act iii. scene 4. The first edition attributed the authorship of this play to Marlowe, though this attribution has been recognized as spurious by critics and scholars for nearly two centuries. See Logan and Smith, Predecessors of Shakespeare, p. 32. But compare: "Comparisons are odious", John Fortescue, De Laudibus Leg. Angliæ, Chapter xix.
  • I'm armed with more than complete steel,—
    The justice of my quarrel.
    • Lust's Dominion (c. 1600), Act iii. scene 4. Compare: "Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just, And he but naked, though locked up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted", William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Act iii. scene 2.
  • All they that love not tobacco and boys are fools.
    • Remark attributed to Marlowe from the testimony of Richard Baines, a government informer, in 1593.

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