Christopher Marlowe (c. 26 February 1564 – 30 May 1593) was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.
A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May 1593. No reason for it was given, though it was thought to be connected to allegations of blasphemy—a manuscript believed to have been written by Marlowe was said to contain "vile heretical conceipts." He was brought before the Privy Council for questioning on 20 May, after which he had to report to them daily. Ten days later, he was stabbed to death by Ingram Frizer. Whether the stabbing was connected to his arrest has never been resolved.
As with other writers of the period, little is known about Marlowe. What little evidence there is can be found in legal records and other official documents. This has not stopped writers of both fiction and non-fiction from speculating about his activities and character. Marlowe has often been described as a spy, a brawler, a heretic and a homosexual, as well as a "magician," "duellist," "tobacco-user," "counterfeiter" and "rakehell." The evidence for most of these claims is slight. The bare facts of Marlowe's life have been embellished by many writers into colourful, and often fanciful, narratives of the Elizabethan underworld. However, J.B. Steane remarked, "it seems absurd to dismiss all of these Elizabethan rumours and accusations as 'the Marlowe myth.'"
Dido, Queen of Carthage (c.1586) (possibly co-written with Thomas Nashe)
Tamburlaine, part 1 (c.1587)
Tamburlaine, part 2 (c.1587-1588)
The Jew of Malta (c.1589)
Doctor Faustus (c.1589, or, c.1593)
Edward II (c.1592)
The Massacre at Paris (c.1593)
The play Lust's Dominion was attributed to Marlowe upon its initial publication in 1657, though scholars and critics have almost unanimously rejected the attribution.
Translation of Book One of Lucan's Pharsalia (date unknown)
Translation of Ovid's Elegies (c. 1580s?)
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (pre-1593; because it is constantly referred to in his own plays we can presume an early date of mid-1580s)
Hero and Leander (c. 1593, unfinished; completed by George Chapman, 1598)