The Mysterious Death of Christopher Marlowe


Christopher Marlowe (1564 –1593) was a famous English playwright, poet and translator of the Elizabethan period, whose best-known plays are “Doctor Faustus”, “The Jew of Malta”, “Tamburlaine the Great”.

On Wednesday, 30 May, 1593 Marlowe died in a tavern brawl. Even if it appears to be a drunken fight, today scholars believe that his death was really an assassination, committed in a room that had been hired for a private meeting in a respectable house in Deptford and ordered by Queen Elizabeth I herself because of his subversively atheistic behaviour. This theory is supported by the fact that Elizabeth pardoned Marlowe’s murderer, Ingram Frizer, about four weeks later.

But there are a lot of other murder theories, according to which he was killed because:
• either Sir Walter Raleigh feared that he might incriminate him or he had become aware of the Earl of Essex’s plots against Raleigh,
• some noblemen thought that his plays contained Catholic propaganda,
• members of the Privy Council feared that he might reveal them to be atheists,
• a woman, jealous of her husband’s relationship with him, had arranged for his assassination.

Some say he was accidentally killed while pressured to pay back money he had borrowed or that his death was faked to allow him to escape trial and almost certain execution for his subversively atheism. This theory also asserts that Marlowe went into exile, and wrote the plays ascribed to William Shakespeare

19 thoughts on “The Mysterious Death of Christopher Marlowe

  1. With so many mysteries about his murder and the connection to the works of Shakespeare, Marlowe’s life becomes very important. His article gives us the opportunity to have more knowledge of literary history. Excellent your article. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

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