One of three versions of what happened on the night of May 30,1593, the Marlovian theory hangs on a faked death belief. Other versions of Christopher Marlowe’s death include an accidental drunken brawl and an assassination bought by the Queen herself.
The Marlovian Theory, which began as early as 1895, holds that the plays traditionally attributed to William Shakespeare were actually written by Christopher Marlowe. The most well thought out theory of this was done by Calvin Hoffman. Calvin Hoffman was an American journalist who in 1955 published “The Murder of the Man who was Shakespeare”. This theory was further explored in “Much Ado about Something” the 2001 documentary by Michael Rubbo. It is said that secret coded messages were put into “Shakespeare’s Sonnets” that reveals Christopher Marlowe as its author.
The Marlovian Theory theorizes that Christopher Marlowe faked his death in 1593 instead of being killed by his patron. It is believed that he was facing imminent death for heresy charges and faked his death to save himself. This patron accused of his death, Thomas Walsingham, may have helped Marlowe escape the charges of heresy and atheism the Privy Council was investigating.
Marlowe’s interrogation on these charges was held on May 20,1593 and seemingly died ten days later on May 30,1593. The first licensed work from Shakespeare, “Venus and Adonis”, was issued on April 4, 1593. William Shakespeare’s first record of being an actor only appeared on December 1594.
Other supposed evidence comes from writing style. Both Marlowe and Shakespeare seemed to have the same rate and pace of tempo, same vocabulary, and averaged words of 4.2 letters each. Others feel that the writings are vastly different and that Christopher Marlowe was a leader in the era and many took liberties to “lift” some of his talent.
Whatever really happened in that house in Deptford Strand that night in 1693 may never fully be understood. Murder, Accident, or Faked Death, those who follow the Marlovian Theory believe it to be the only way that Christopher Marlowe could continue to live freely and pursue his continued love of writing.
For More Info:
“It was Marlowe” by Wilbur Gleason Zeigler 1895
“The Murder of the Man Who Was Shakespeare” by Calvin Hoffman 1955
“The Story that the Sonnets Tell” by A D Wraight 1994
Quotes from Christopher Marlowe
“I am Envy. I cannot read and therefore wish all books burned”
“It lies not in our power to love, or hate, for will in us is over ruled by fate”
“Virtue is the fount whence honour springs”
“Who ever loved that loved not at first sight”
“Lone women, like empty houses, perish”
“Honour is purchased by the deeds we do”
“That love is childish which consists of words”