Shakespeare Cross-Examination: A Compilation of Articles First Appearing in the American Bar Association Journal

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Marlowe's Mighty Line": Was Marlowe Murdered at Twenty-nine?

by Benjamin Wham

THOSE WHO HAVE sought to solve the Shakespearean Who-Dunit have excelled in demonstrating that Shakespeare was not the author of Shakespeare's works. But there is a serious omission in the evidence which they give in seeking a solution to the identity of the author.

Since there is admittedly a lack of facts as to the person of the author, would it not be better to consider the poetry of Shakespeare and to compare it with that of other poets of the same generation?

If we find, for example, that the author time after time plagiarizes whole lines and verses from a contemporary poet who was "murdered" at 29 ( Christopher Marlowe), do we believe the world's greatest poet would stoop to such tactics, or do we think of a solution, which adds to the mystery, and conclude that perhaps Marlowe was not murdered at 29, but lived anonymously abroad and on his patron's estate and so was able to continue to write his great poetry?

In Marlowe we find a person who was born in the same year as Shakespeare, 1564, who qualifies in all ways as the author: although his father was a shoemaker at Canterbury, his early brilliance caused him to obtain a scholarship to Kings School, attached to the Cathedral, where he met the scions of illustrious families: Lyly, Sidney, Dobson, Bentham. He received a scholarship to Cambridge where he remained for seven years, translating both Ovid and Lucan, and writing, at age 22, his epoch-making Tamburlaine. His associates were lit

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