9:00-10:00 Blackfriars Theatre
Keynote: “Vitality and Futurity in Marlowe”
Garrett Sullivan, Pennsylvania State University

Session Chair: Robert Logan, University of Hartford

The address analyzes Marlowe’s examination of the ways that literature and culture of his time subordinate the physical, spiritual, or ethical claims of the present to those of the future.This paper will show how a number of Marlovian works challenge his culture’s future orientation by exploring the implications of conceptually grounding vitality in the present.

10:30-11:45 Blackfriars Theater
Studies in Theater History and Staging
Session Chair: Janna Segal, Mary Baldwin College

Roslyn L. Knutson, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Playbooks in Repertory: A Study (Handout in .pdf)

Many scholars have relied on arguments concerning memorial reconstruction and inter-play borrowings to add plays to the repertory of Pembroke’s men in 1592-3. Pembroke’s is a company that fascinates Marlovians and theater historians. It came out of nowhere in the fall of 1592 to give two court performances during Christmas; while touring in the late summer of 1593, it apparently collapsed as mysteriously. Yet it had a dynamite repertory, if title-page attributions to it are any measure: for example, Marlowe’s Edward II. The temptation to expand that repertory has been irresistible. The purpose here is to review one vein of the expansionist scholarship and argue that both memorial reconstruction and inter-play borrowings are so flawed as textual principles that neither is useful now as evidence of additional playbooks in Pembroke’s repertory.

Christopher Matusiak, Ithaca College
Marlowe’s Friars: A Study

Friars and monks in Elizabethan drama, like their pharisaical ancestors in late medieval satire and theatrical polemic, tend to signify hypocrisy, excessive materiality, and spiritual blindness. The grasping Jacomo and lascivious Barnardine in The Jew of Malta are obvious examples, invoking anti-fraternal discourses particularly common in commercial repertories of the 1580s and 90s. However, two late Marlovian cases of this fratris imagine trope stand intriguingly apart from their contemporary stage brethren: the hospitable Cistercians in Pembroke’s Edward II, and the zealous Dominican assassin in Strange’s The Massacre at Paris. The complexity of these depictions invites explanation, and this paper considers key factors underlying their design and potential staging, including popular perceptions of counter-Reformation, the political and religious experience of Marlowe’s noble patrons, and pressures imposed by reportorial commerce.

Leslie Thomson, University of Toronto
In his study: A Study

In about twenty-four plays, a character appears “in his study.” This paper will survey the common characteristics of such scenes and consider what these shared elements might tell us about the study scene as a staging and dramatic convention. Specific matters to be considered will include: the relationship between real-world studies and those on stage, and between pictorial and theatrical study scenes; magicians in studies; Doctor Faustus as example and influence; possible study scenes in lost plays.

1:00-2:15 Hunt Gallery, Mary Baldwin College
Marlowe in Practice
Session Chair: Darlene Farabee, University of South Dakota

Jennifer Flaherty, Georgia College and State University
Marlowe’s Passionate Shepherd: Appropriation and Pedagogy

Marlowe’s poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” provides an opportunity to teach undergraduates about the rich legacy of appropriation in (and of) the English Renaissance. The poem is reworked and transformed by Ralegh and Donne in their own response poems, and it is even adapted by Marlowe himself in The Jew of Malta. The legacy of the poem has continued to evolve in the 20th and 21st centuries, and my lessons always include references to how the poem has been reworked and used in Shakespeare productions and films, with particular emphasis on productions that have set the poem to music. I have taught Marlowe’s poem (as well as the Renaissance response texts) in my Renaissance Literature and Major British Writers courses, and my paper will discuss some of the strategies I use to make the poem and its influence accessible to undergraduates.

In my paper, I will explain how I use the poems to teach students the difference between appropriation and plagiarism, as well as how appropriation has changed from the Renaissance to today. In my classes, we explore the connections between the poems and the pastoral or the metaphysical, and we think critically about the ways that Marlowe’s poem has been used to augment or authenticate Shakespeare productions. Once students are confident in their ability to analyze the poems, I incorporate an assignment in which students can discover new adaptations or write their own. My paper will include samples of student writing (both creative and analytical), as well as film clips of important productions (if the technology to view them is available). My emphasis will be on the pedagogical approaches to the texts, exploring how students can learn about the texts themselves and the legacy of appropriation.

James Keegan, University of Delaware
“A Great Reckoning in a Little Room”: Tamburlaine the Great, Part I in the Blackfriars Playhouse

This paper will discuss the joys and challenges of playing the lead role in Tamburlaine, a play written with a larger outdoor playhouse in mind in a relatively small indoor playhouse in a time and place in which the title did not draw full houses and in which, on many occasions, we were playing to fewer than a hundred patrons in an OP venue where the lights are famously on. There were real joys—theatrical advantages—to performing a play that incorporated pageantry and spectacle not usual to the Blackfriars (white, red, and black, costumes and siege banners) and larger set pieces (Bajazeth’s cage, banquet table) on what is usually a bare stage. There were also real theatrical challenges: playing Part 1, as opposed to the “mash-up” of the two parts that most theaters today attempt; playing a character who does not change appreciably throughout the course of the play; delivering lengthy, if beautiful, speeches that trace a world that no longer seems as exotic and vast as it did to Marlowe’s audience; and delivering those speeches to the same people repeatedly while being able to see those people in the OP lighting of the Blackfriars. The ultimate question I’ll be addressing is: can Tamburlaine, Part 1 “work” theatrically anymore; and secondarily, is it too big a play, too decided a character, for a little, well-lit room?

Linda McJannet, Bentley University
“There’s No Dancing in Marlowe!”

The place of dance in Marlowe’s work would seem to be a small one. While Clayton G. MacKenzie has published two articles on the influence of the danse macabre or dance of death on the action of The Massacre of Paris and of Tamburlaine, Parts One and Two, there appears to be only one place in the plays where a stage direction calls for a dance, namely in the deed scene of Doctor Faustus, when Mephistopheles decides to bring in devils to “delight [Faustus’s wavering] mind.” He exits, and reenters “with DEVILS, giving crowns and rich apparel to FAUSTUS; they dance and then depart” (sc. 5.82 SD). In “Recreating the Eye of the Beholder: Dancing and Spectacular Display in Early Modern English Theatre” (2011), Erika T. Lin uses this moment as a case study of the “referential and performative” functions of spectacle generally and of the early modern association of dancing (whether beheld or performed) with seduction.

I am persuaded by Lin’s analysis that Marlowe’s insertion of a dance at this point is indeed significant, and my paper will seek to discover how classic and recent realizations of the play have handled this scene. My findings to date are that earlier productions, such as the (in)famous film starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, omit the dance sequence altogether, but later productions retain it in fascinating ways. Further, some of them introduce other moments of dance and choreographed group movement to music or percussion so as to capture and highlight important aspects of the play. I hope to show that, as in the film A League Of Their Own (in which the exasperated team manager, played by Tom Hanks, asserts “There’s no crying in baseball!”), there is indeed dancing in Marlowe and that its presence in Doctor Faustus, whether textual or directorial, can enhance emotional effect and contribute to thematic clarity. My study will be based as much as possible on DVDs of the performances in question, including that at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2011, and on video trailers and reviews where DVDs or archival footage are not available.

Michael M. Wagoner, Florida State University and James Byers, Mary Baldwin College
A Kit to Massacre-ing Marlowe, or the Complexities of Performing a “Bad” Text

This paper explores the staging of The Massacre at Paris at the Seventh International Marlowe Conference. Two members of the cast and crew, James Byers and Michael M. Wagoner, detail their experiences, along with insights from studying in preparation for the performance.  They will examine the complications and challenges in performance that arise from this rarely produced play.  In what ways does a lack of performance history free a production or hinder it?  How does the “incomplete” status of the text affect the rehearsal process, especially in developing character. Working in tandem with the director, these presenters will explore the rehearsal process of performing this Early Modern play, with an eye toward both backstage and onstage work.

1:00-2:15 Miller Chapel, Mary Baldwin College
Marlowe’s Unstable Characters
Session Chair: Tom Rutter, University of Sheffield

Chrissie Auger, Eckerd College
Marlovian Machiavellianism in Edward II

In the remarkably scarce commentary concerning intersections of Christopher Marlowe, the Elizabethan Stage Machiavel, and Machiavelli’s The Prince, many critics marginalize, and sometimes even neglect, any thoughtful consideration of the interrogative drama Edward II (c. 1592); instead, the criticism discusses Stage Machiavels in The Jew of Malta or the politics of Tamburlaine, defensible choices for such hermeneutics because of the dramas’ characters and content. In Edward II, however, Christopher Marlowe depicts at least three intriguing (though incomplete) Stage Machiavels which also warrant critical attention. By unleashing Stage Machiavel tendencies in disparate characters like Edward II’s Mortimer Junior, Queen Isabella, Spencer Junior, and Baldock, Marlowe creates a litany of villains, some significantly more sympathetic—or evil—than others. Such is the strange case of the Stage Machiavel, an Elizabethan perversion of Machiavelli’s ideal prince. However, as Irving Ribner reveals in “Marlowe and Machiavelli,” the Stage Machiavel “has little relation to Machiavelli’s thought . . . and has a history and life of its own,” one which nonetheless remains inextricable from its namesake.

Marlowe’s treatment of “Machiavelli’s thought,” however, seems just as seductive as Marlowe’s employment of the conventional Stage Machiavel, and so in this paper, I will balance my treatment of the character type with an exploration of Machiavellian techniques and ethics as exhibited in Edward II. Since King Edward II routinely exemplifies behavior more becoming of what I term Machiavelli’s “anti-prince,” he suffers the precise fate Machiavelli warns against in his “prince should not” lessons. Because of his anti-princely conduct, the peers depose, torture, and murder their King. When Edward II’s son (notably known as the prince) assumes power, he mimics the efficient prince of Machiavelli’s text, presumably gaining control and order as a result. Such subtle underpinnings, undeniably pro-Machiavellian, serve as Marlowe’s mighty means to a conniving but certain end: his clandestine public endorsement of Machiavelli’s princely ethics.

Annalisa Castaldo, Widener University
(Un)Learning Manly Fortitude from Faustus

Doctor Faustus is a play saturated with magic and scholars have debated the various magic acts of the two texts, how they were portrayed, and how they influence our understanding of the title character. This paper suggests that despite the undeniable power magic offers Faustus, using magic feminizes and thus queers him, placing him in an untenable position in regards to his own body and his interactions with other characters. The more Faustus uses magic in order to gain knowledge and control of his world, the more he displays characteristics that are linked to femininity, from the simple (a love of finery) to the complex (the gradual fragmentation and loss of control of his body). Magic was often seen as a female province in the early modern period, an attempt by women to gain unlawful power that allowed them to exceed the roles set for them by God and man, but which resulted only from total submission to another, unlawful authority. Marlowe deliberately links Faustus’ power to this feminine desire for more, while presenting magic itself as a deeply destabilizing force.

Dori Davis, University of South Florida
Reconsidering Edmund: How Love Conquers All in Marlowe’s Edward II

Sibling relationships in the early modern drama tend toward the dysfunctional, and love and respect among siblings appear quite rarely. Far more commonly, if we are shown sibling relationships at all, we see casual disdain or out-and-out dysfunctional cruelty. This makes the relationship between King Edward II and his half-brother Edmund, the Earl of Kent, in Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II especially poignant and moving. While critics tend to position Edward as simply a choral figure, suggesting that his primary, or even sole, function in the play is to guide the audience in how to react emotionally to each development in the plot, I believe Edmund’s function goes far beyond that of choral figure or moral compass. Indeed, along with creating an emblematic character to whom we can turn for emotional guidance during Edward’s downward spiral, Christopher Marlowe has also forged a fully-rounded, fully-developed illusionist human man, along with a complex and singularly discerning sibling dynamic.

This essay seeks to prove that Marlowe provides us in Edward II a uniquely believable and extraordinarily compelling sibling relationship. By shifting the historical facts culled from Holinshed’s Chronicles to create a more significant sibling bond, he shapes Edmund as a powerfully relevant person in Edward’s life—far more powerful than the source material gives us any reason to imagine—and in the relationship between the two he builds a family unit that transcends considerations of right and wrong in the same way that Edward’s love for Gaveston also transcends considerations of right and wrong. This relationship affords Marlowe the opportunity to explore the many shadings of family love, pitting that love against political necessity in order to examine it against a background of dissonance and conflict. Ultimately, as we witness the struggle between Edmund’s duty to his nation and his duty to his brother, and as he wrestles with these two conflicting duties, we as readers cannot help but be reminded of all the other brothers and sisters in early modern drama who experience no such conflict.

2:30-3:45 Hunt Gallery, Mary Baldwin College
Borrowed Marlowe
Session Chair: Robert Sawyer, East Tennessee State University

Brett Foster, Wheaton College
Residual Conjurations: Faustian Traces in Shakespeare’s Plays

This paper will explore Shakespeares continuing use and adaptation in various plays of dramatic situations and general references to Marlowe’s tragedy Doctor Faustus. Topics such as the contemporary popularity and influence of Faustus or Shakespeare’s borrowing from his fellow playwright are hardly new critical territories, and I will make a conscious effort first to acknowledge some of this existing work in these areas (such as James Biester’s recent article on echoes of Faustus in The Tempest or Robert Logan’s more extended study of Marlowe’s effects upon Shakespeare), but then to work toward more specific, more theorized readings of Faustian traces in typically less noted passages and plays.

I will begin by treating “our exorcisms” of Bolingbroke and the priests in 2 Henry VI, which immediately raises questions of collaboration, dating, and which work influenced which. With that caveat aside, the scene also serves as usual contrasting scene in at least two ways. First, regarding Faustus, this scene in an early history play is striking in how it breaks open and complicates Marlowe’s single-minded focus on his singular tragic protagonist—the act of conjuration is a solo affair, and stems from his personal engagements with issues such as identity, ambition, and desire. 2 Henry VI’s scene is bluntly social in dimension and attention. First, there is a polity, so to speak of participants, with Bolingbroke, the priests, and the host, and then the authorities breaking up the ritual. The dramatic attention likewise focuses on political and also religious issues; it is less a dramatic action defining a character, as with Faustus, and more a secondary social scene that contributes to the composition of a conflicted, medieval world viewed through an Elizabethan lens.

The second contrast will lead to the central, slightly more extended readings of scenes or figural uses in later plays. I will argue that from this rather simplified early adoption of conjuration in 2 Henry VI, Shakespeare henceforth follows Marlowe in applying the themes and metaphors of conjuration to specific characters and certain situations. In another significant difference, Shakespeare becomes more interested in exploring what conjuration can signify in a post-Faustus working space. For example, in Romeo and Juliet the conjurer’s circle and the raising of spirits lend themselves to sexualized applications, in a world where enchantments are of an instant, romantic kind, and, similar to the magician’s work, perhaps can never be trusted as a fully real, substantive thing. In 1 Henry IV, Falstaff repeatedly if subtly employs the language of conjuration to make pointed comments about the fiction-making powers of both speech and theater. Falstaff is, we might say, a social magician who raises himself at the end of 1 Henry IV, but who eventually must face his own reckoning. Finally, I intend to offer a reading of a different Faustian trace in a different theatrical context. Shakespeare’s revivifying of Helen of Troy in a seemingly more realistic setting of Troilus and Cressida. I will ground this reading in a recent production of the play I was able to attend at the American Players’ Theater, in Spring Glen, WI, where the entrance and ongoing characterization of Helen was clearly referring to Marlowe’s play, and even certain stage directions in Doctor Faustus.

Bradley Ryner, Arizona State University
Refiguring the Usurer’s Body in The Jew of Malta and The Blind Beggar of Alexandria

The popular image of the usurer in late-Elizabethan England combined allegorical depictions of Avarice (represented as thin and ragged) with xenophobic caricatures of Jewishness (represented as red-haired and bottle-nosed). The reasoning behind representing the usurer as thin and ragged was that the avaricious person hoards money rather than spending it on food or clothes. Marlowe stages Barabas as the antithesis of the avaricious hoarder, to whom he his explicitly contrasted:  Barabas is well fed, sumptuously clothed and willing to spend opulently on his desires. Marlowe’s self-reflexive interrogation of the logic that underlies representations of the usurer’s body draws attention the inadequacy of such representation for explaining mercantile capitalism, but stops short of presenting a different figuration that is able to do so. Such a figuration, however, is available in Chapman’s The Blind Beggar of Alexandria.  Something between a parody and a loving imitation of Marlovian drama, Chapman’s play offers an implicit reading and a conceptual extension of The Jew of Malta. The play’s usurer, Leon is one of several disguises adopted by the eponymous character. Leon is given the immediately recognizable trappings of the miserly stage usurer. His miserliness, though, is a theatrical fiction that prevents the other characters from recognizing that his accumulated wealth is not the result of hoarding but of stagecraft. The play reveals the body that is actually able to capitalize on this investment to be not that of the usurer (who is only a façade here) but that of the actor whose rapid shifts between playing Leon and playing other outsized Marlovian character types reiterates the proto-capitalist investo’’s oscillation between accumulation and expenditure.

Sarah K. Scott, Mount St. Mary’s University
“A Speaking Eye”: Lording Barry Reads Hero and Leander

Lording Barry’s city comedy The Family of Love alludes specifically to numerous passages from Marlowe’s works as well as those of many other playwrights. However, there seems to be an unusually large number of references to Marlowe, over a dozen, according to Simon Shepherd in his edition of the play (1979), including Doctor Faustus, Tamburlaine I and II, The Jew of Malta, and Hero and Leander. It seems unusual that a playwright in the first decade of the seventeenth century would allude so frequently to the works of a long-dead playwright in order to satirize a somewhat obscure religious group, Henry Nicolas’s Familist religious sect. How, then, might this shape our understanding of Marlowe’s reception in the early seventeenth century? The passages that Barry employs seem to follow a general but studied pattern in which he uses his theatrical predecessor to critique the morays of a London milieu. This act of imitation suggests a type of kinship between the playwrights and to some extent validates the idea of Marlowe as a creator of city comedy.

Lisa S. Starks-Estes, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg
Transforming Ovid: Marlowe’s Dido and Shakespeare’s Perverse Astraea in Titus Andronicus

Before shooting arrows at the gods for justice, Titus in Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus cites Astraea in a quotation from Ovid: “Terras Astraea reliquit.” Tamora is the recipient of the message, retrieving the arrows from her servant (4.3.4), thereby linking her to the constellation of goddesses surrounding the image of Elizabeth I. Throughout his bloody revenge play, Shakespeare explores the dark side of Astraea, associating her image indirectly with Anatomia, the goddess of reduction—a dominating queen who requires acts of submission and dissection-dismemberment from her male court; and directly (via both Lavinia and Aaron) with the Semiramis, the Assyrian queen of legend, a femme-fatale who brings the walls of Rome crashing down. Shakespeare evokes these “perverse Astraeas” on various levels in Titus Andronicus and connects them directly to Tamora—an Amazonian figure who, although ultimately demonized in the play, dominates much of it.

In creating this portrait of a perverse Astraea, Shakespeare follows Marlowe’s lead instigated in Dido, Queen of Carthage by employing Ovid to satirize the Elizabethan court and its cult of love. And, most importantly, like Marlowe, Shakespeare uses Ovidian strategies to parody the high seriousness of the Virgilian epic and to undercut the ideal of virtus it upholds. As many critics—including Sara Munson Deats, Jonathan Bate, and Timothy D. Crowley—have pointed out, Marlowe’s treatment of Virgil’s Aeneid is richly inflected with Ovid. Not only does Marlowe draw from Ovid’s Heroides in providing Dido’s perspective, but also he incorporates an Ovidian method of “metamorphosis” in his transformation of sources and genre, irreverent attitude toward the gods, fluidity of desire and gendered positions.

As a poet-playwright also caught up in the Ovid craze of the 1590’s, Shakespeare takes up Marlowe’s challenge by remaking Virgil as dark, grotesque parody in Titus Andronicus, which I deal with in this presentation; and as revisionary appropriation in Antony and Cleopatra, which I discuss elsewhere. Although Shakespeare develops his savage parody of Virgil throughout Titus Andronicus on various levels, he foregrounds it in his portrayal of the perverse Astraea, creating the empress Tamora as an inverted version of Marlowe’s Dido, an image that plays on the indirect associations between her and the iconic figure of Elizabeth I. For instance, Shakespeare parodies Virgil in 2.3, a scene that is reminiscent of the wicked, brutal woods of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Taking leave from the chase, the empress and her Moor slip away for an intimate encounter, which Tamora herself compares to the amorous union of Dido and Aeneas when they take refuge from the storm to a cave in Book 4 of Virgil’s Aeneid, a scene that is dramatized in Marlowe’s play (3.4). Here, employing Ovid’s own technique via Marlowe, Shakespeare overturns Virgil and remakes his epic into Ovidian myth as revenge play, paving the way for a reinvention of the perverse Astraea via Isis in his later tragedy, Antony and Cleopatra.

2:30-3:45 Miller Chapel, Mary Baldwin College
Marlowe and Theatrical Communities: Echoes and Reappropriations
Session Chair: Pierre Hecker, Carleton College

Annaliese Connolly, Sheffield Hallam University
Rethinking Marlovian Allusion in Chapman’s Blind Beggar and Shakespeare’s Merry Wives

The influential status of Marlowe’s pastoral lyric “The Passionate Shepherd to his Love” upon his contemporaries is now a critical commonplace. Critics have traced its impact through the response poems of Ralegh, Donne and Herrick and its pervasive presence in the literature of the period.  More recently the poem featured in the opening sequence of Richard Loncraine’s film Richard III (1995).  This paper will focus upon two instances where Marlowe’s poem is alluded to and re-fashioned in Elizabethan comedy: Chapman’s The Blind Beggar of Alexandria (1598) and Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor (1602). In each case critics have identified Marlowe’s poem as the source for the lines in the play, but have either stopped short of suggesting why they have been included or have read the allusions to Marlowe in the context of a wider biographical narrative.  On the face of it these two examples of Elizabethan comedy are very different and appear to be linked only by their allusion to Marlowe’s poem, but this paper will argue that both plays are interested in methods of characterisation and engage with contemporary developments in theories of characterisation influenced by the rise of humours comedy.

Ruth Lunney, University of Newcastle, Australia
The Bell, the Bodies, and the Bonking: The Massacre at Paris and Its Early Playhouse Audiences

What made Marlowe’s The Massacre at Paris so distinctive that its influence lasted for at least ten years—despite repertories crowded with plays—and resulted in several revivals, assorted offspring, and robust memories of its action if not always its words?

Most approaches to The Massacre at Paris have been through sources and subject matter, seeking ironies and ambiguities, with some attention to the play’s rhetoric of violence. Most studies agree that the Massacre was topical and sensational, a parade of murder and massacre that catered to anxieties about foreigners and politicians, to preoccupations with royal power and revenge, with war and civil dissension. But, while these descriptions may account for the impact of the Massacre in general terms, they do not explain the play’s distinctiveness. Such qualities and concerns were, after all, typical of many plays that survive from the early 1590s.

This paper approaches the Massacre through its theatrical context, an aspect rarely considered in any detail elsewhere. It looks to the expectations and theatrical experiences of the play’s early audiences and the shaping of these by other contemporary plays. It is this context—the experiences generated by other plays—that offers a measure of the Massacre’s distinctiveness.

The first performance of the Massacre at the Rose in January 1593 was followed within days by ones of The Jew of Malta and 1 Henry 6. Iit had been preceded in a brief five-week season by multiple performances of these as well as The Spanish Tragedy and Peele’s The Battle of Alcazar. At much the same time, or shortly thereafter, playgoers could flock to the Theatre perhaps for the early versions of Henry 6, Parts 2 and 3, for Richard 3, or to the Rose for Titus Andronicus. Their recent memories might well include the Queen’s Men’s The Troublesome Reign of King John or, for that matter, the two Parts of Tamburlaine, soon to be revived at the Rose, in 1594-1595.

The field of reference is indeed rich. This paper will explore the distinctiveness of the Massacre through the theatrical experience of its early audiences, with particular attention to the emotional dimension of that experience and its cognitive implications.

Lucy Munro, Keele University
Marlowe and the Amphitheater

In an exposé of astrologers and fortune-tellers published in 1620, Astrologaster, or, The Figure-Caster, John Melton takes a brief detour into the contemporary theatre:

Another [astrologer] will fore-tell of Lightening and Thunder that shall happen such a day, when there are no such Inflamations seene, except men goe to the Fortune in Golding-Lane, to see the Tragedie of Doctor Faustus. There indeede a man may behold shagge-hayr’d Deuills runne roaring ouer the Stage with Squibs in their mouthes, while Drummers make Thunder in the Tyring-house, and the twelue-penny Hirelings make artificiall Lightning in their Heauens.

When Marlowe’s Tamburlaine and Doctor Faustus were first performed in the late 1580s, they helped to define the character of performance and dramaturgy in London’s amphitheatres. This paper reappraises Marlowe’s amphitheatre dramaturgy and its enduring impact on early modern drama. In doing so, it focuses on its renewed prominence in the late Jacobean period and its influence on the staging, diction and special effects deployed in plays staged at amphitheatres such as the Fortune, Red Bull, Curtain and Globe. Standard theatre histories tend to see the late 1610s and early 1620s as a time at which the most successful companies were moving away from the amphitheatres; moreover, the revival of plays such as Doctor Faustus is generally interpreted as the product of nostalgia or cultural conservatism. Plays such as The Two Noble Ladies (1619-22), Dekker and Massinger’s The Virgin Martyr (1620) and Fletcher’s The Prophetess (1622) suggest, in contrast, both the rude health of these playing spaces and the theatrical impact that Marlovian structures continued to exercise.

John Parker, University of Virginia
Confession in The Jew of Malta and Romeo & Juliet

People have long recognized that Shakespeare explicitly borrowed from Marlowe in writing Romeo and Juliet.  My paper will argue that this indebtedness extends beyond the obvious verbal echoes to Shakespeare’s handling of the Catholic clergy as well—more specifically, to his treatment of auricular confession. My main contention is that Shakespeare follows Marlowe’s lead in deploying confession as an analogue for the commercial theater. The stage, like the confessional, operates for both playwrights as a sanctuary for the discursive representation of sinful behavior. When confession lost its sacramental status after the Reformation, in other words, the dramas of Marlowe and Shakespeare stepped into its place with a kindred promise of impunity.

4:30-5:30 Blackfriars Theatre
Keynote: “Marlowe’s Magic Books”
Leah S. Marcus, Vanderbilt University

Session Chair: Bruce Brandt, South Dakota State University

The address concerns performative speech, magic on stage, and the material book in Doctor Faustus and Tamburlaine the Great.

NOTE: The American Shakespeare Center will be offering Romeo and Juliet at the Blackfriars Playhouse at 7.30 p.m. MSA members are entitled to a 20% discount. Click here for tickets.