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Christopher Marlowe (baptised 26 February 1564; died 30 May 1593) is one of the most prolific writers in human history, and is single handedly responsible for the authorship of close to six hundred million separate published works. With a body of works far exceeding those of any other poet or writer, he is widely regarded as mediocre in his talents, and questionable in his abilities, yet is attributed with some of the most famous sayings of all time. As a result of his quaint insistence on settling bills and a flamboyantly gay lifestyle, he was stabbed to death in a tavern at the age of 29.
“I love carrots.”
“I thought I told you never to call here again.”
Born sometime in the middle of the second millennium, Christopher Marlowe spent the first thirty years of his life as a playwright for the Elizabethan court, as well as an occasional writer for the People’s Court, where he garnered experience as a critical and commercial failure, the most valuable kind of experience for any writer.
Over time his earliest works have come to be appreciated as classics in their own right, however interestingly enough despite this recognition, no one in the modern world seems to have read them. In fact, most people cannot even name any of them (Think about it, can you? I didn’t think so). Some scholars have attributed this to the fact that all of Marlowe’s early plays were written in blank verse, and that if you leave the page blank, there’s really nothing to read. This would mean that Marlowe’s plays consisted of nothing but actors standing around doing and saying nothing for several hours, however scholars believe this to be an accurate representation of Elizabethan entertainment.
The first truly notable incident in Marlowe’s life occurred on May 30, 1593 when, as part of a practical joke, Marlowe faked his own death. The death of Marlowe is to this day remembered as one of history’s most elaborate practical jokes (second only to the Holocaust), involving Marlowe not only being stabbed repeatedly in a crowded pub, but also being examined by multiple coroners, and being buried as part of an elaborate funeral service.
Some time following his staged death, as a result of extreme boredom Marlowe unburied himself and moved to London in the hopes of joining the newly formed Dead Poets’ Society, however his application was rejected, due to a lack of notability. Marlowe openly protested this decision, however his complaints were brought to a halt when the Society’s Chairman, Geoffrey Chaucer, pointed out that a Google search of Marlowe’s name returned less than 100 results, most of which were Wikipedia, or Wikipedia’s mirrors.
In 1592 Marlowe returned to the Elizabethan court to begin writing again for no adequately explored reason. By this point he had lost a considerable amount of hair from the stress of being buried alive for over a year, and had stopped wearing his signature gaudy clothing and flamboyant beard, due to the sudden realization that it made him look like a complete prat.
With these drastic changes in appearance, and no lasting recollection of his original body of works, which is likely due to his incredible unpopularity during his life, he remained unrecognized upon his return. Upon being asked his name when submitting his first work, the teen sex-comedy King Lear, he adopted the name “Shakespeare,” this of course being a crude and unsuccessful attempt at a masturbation joke, and the rest is history (no, actually, come to think of it the entire thing is history, really).
edit Marlovian skepticism
Some scholars have pointed to a remarkable lack of evidence to support the fact that Marlowe was the author of the complete works of William Shakespeare, and a minority have even called into question whether Marlowe and Shakespeare were actually the same person. This notion has, however, been dismissed by most authorities. “After all,” says Marlovian scholar Troy Hellens “If there were any evidence to support it, then it wouldn’t be a conspiracy, would it?”
Literary historian Ed Tamburlaine has also commented on the anti-Marlovian theory, stating that “Well, he couldn’t have just died, could he? That would have been far too obvious.”
The most notable anti-Marlovian speaker, Richard Dawkins, has pointed to the surprising differences between Shakespeare and Marlowe’s writing styles, as well as the fact that Shakespeare seems to have produced his first play, Mother May I?, at least a year before Marlowe's death. Tamburlaine and others have accepted this apparent inconsistency, however they have taken the far more reasonable approach, and recognized it as conclusive evidence that Marlowe was in fact the first person to invent the time machine, predating its first recorded invention by Garrett A. Morgan by almost 200 years.
Knowing that Marlowe was indeed the author of the collective works of William Shakespeare provides a tremendous insight into the history of Western literature, and indeed world literature as a whole. Scholars, having long been puzzled by the apparent similarities between most epic stories, poems and dramas, dubbing this phenomenon the “Monomyth,” have turned to Marlowe as a possible explanation. Although it is highly improbable that the same exact pattern of story would present itself in thousands of independently conceived tales, it is far more likely that all of these stories were written by a single, incredibly unimaginative author with a time machine and nothing better to do on a Saturday night. Being the only possible candidate, Marlowe is widely recognized as this universal author, and the creator of what has been dubbed the “Marlowemyth”
“After all,” says Marlowe scholar Gregory Faustus, Ph.D., “we don’t really know who any of these people are. I mean, you’ve heard of Ovid, but have you ever met the guy? After all, you could say you've read his (or her?) work (and knowing you you're probably lying), but you don’t know who really wrote it, do you? Is it a coincidence that Ovid and Marlowe’s works are all exactly the same? Is it?”
This theory has also supported the existence of several “unknown” or “fictitious” authors, such as Homer, Lao Tzu, and Neil Simon. Marlowe has even been proposed as the author of the Bible, although a minority of scholars support alternative theories, including authorship by Moses, the Apostles, Bartleby the Scrivener, and God, (however deistic authorship is rarely taken seriously by anyone). This may appear conflicted by the fact that Marlowe was an Atheist, however some explanation may lie in the preface of the paperback Constantine Special Edition, in which Marlowe notably states “Come on, you guys, can’t you take a joke?”
It would seem that Marlowe is indeed responsible for at least eighty-five percent of the entire Western canon, and is responsible for a significant portion of Pachelbel’s canon in D as well as Col. Sander's highly secret herbs and spices recipe. Why exactly Marlowe would need a cannon remains a mystery, however it has been suggested that the cannon is actually a Marlovian metaphor for a large piece of artillery that fires heavy balls of metal. I’m sure there’s a euphemism in there somewhere, you just have to look hard enough.
Today, the vast majority of historical and contemporary literary critics subscribe in some way to Marlovian authorship, and are members of the Marlovian school. Unfortunately the Marlovian school was shut down last April as a result of ongoing teacher strikes, and the discovery of asbestos in its walls, and their subscriptions have been canceled due to a failure to renew before the deadline, not to mention the fact that there was one "teacher" who insisted on groping everything within reach but she married her "victim" and they now have a lovely home in Tacoma.