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102 UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO QUARTERLY Dr. Neatby has performed a genuine service by providing us with this analysis of our problem. She is perhaps a little ungenerous to the educational officials of our various provinces and a little blind to the achievements of the "progressives." But to this reviewer, she appears entirely right in her contentions that our schools should offer more for the mind, that our teachers should be much better prepared than they are now by general education and appropriate professional training to give it, that our entire programme in the elementary and secondary schools has suffered from domination by minds insufficiently trained in philosophy, history, and literature, and that the influence of the late Professor Dewey on all this has been a "Bad Thing." MARLOWE AND SHAKESPEARE* H. S. W,LSON The criticism of the literary output of Christopher Marlowe, as Professor F. P. Wilson remarks in the first of his Clark Lectures, is confronted by three major problems. The first is to determine the proper relation between Marlowe's writings and what is known about his brief but spectacular career as a rebel against the social and religious values of his day. The second arises from the faulty and often very corrupt state in which most of his plays have survived, for Marlowe did not enjoy the advantage even of such uncritical editing as the pious efforts of Shakespeare's fellows provided in the First Folio, and Marlowe's texts have come down to us in the haphazard states of abridgment and alteration at the hands of revisers and collaborators employed by the play-houses, varying all the way from the relative goodness of Dido Queen of Carthage (which was published as the joint work of Marlowe and Thomas Nashe) and the two parts of Tamburlaine (the only plays of Marlowe published in his lifetime) to the desperate corruption of The Massacre at Paris, which is the work of a reporter whose garbled recollection of Marlowe's play is eked out by confused memories of other plays. Professor Wilson holds that the last three acts of The lew of Malta contain only a few speeches identifiable as Marlowe's; while even in the greatest of his plays, Doctor Faustus, we can be sure of Marlowe's hand only in the beginning and end. In such a state of affairs, it is apparent that the *The Overreacher: A Study 0/ Christopher Marlowe. By HARRY LEVIN. Cam~ bridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press {Toronto: .s, J. Reginald Saunders and Company Limited], 1952. Pp. xvi, 204. $5.50. Marlowe and the Early Shakespeare. By F. P. WILSON. The Clark Lectures, Trinity College, Cambridge, 1951. Oxford, at the Clarendon Press [Toronto: Oxford University Press]. 1953. Pp. 150. $2.00. REVIEWS 103 third embarrassment is to make out any consistent line of development in Marlowe's artistic achievement. Yet tbe astOlllshing originality and power of Marlowe's contribution to tbe poetry and drama of his time remain undeniable and a perpetual challenge to critical interpretation , especially in their bearing upon the final problem of Marlowe's influence upon Shakespeare, who was in many ways Marlowe 's immediate heir. In assessing these problems, Professor Levin's study provides much the more elaborate and tborough interpretation both of Marlowe's literary work and of his relation to Shakespeareas well as to otbers of his contemporaries and successors--while Professor Wilson's lectures, much briefer in scope, contain chiefly some valuable cautionary suggestions for Marlowe criticism and a delimitation of tbe respective merits and achievements in drama and poetry of Marlowe and the early Shakespeare. The known facts of Marlowe's career, his violent and untimely end, and tbe testimonies of his contemporaries make it clear, apart from any of tbe evidences of his writings, that tbe young Christopher Marlowe was a scoffer at all the orthodoxies of his day. In the testimonies of Thomas Kyd and Richard Baines, he stands accused of favouring atheism and pederasty; while his avoidance of holy orders, for which his university career at Cambridge had destined him, his employment in tbe secret service of Secretary Walsingham in the company of various unsavoury associates, the charges tbat he would jest...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 102-105
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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