Tuesday, February 15, 2011

All the World's a Stage, and Christopher Marlowe's Plays are on it, too!

Because I feel badly for my cop-out of a choice yesterday, I have selected for today's post a truly historical man of scalding good looks. When I think of "hotness," I cannot help but long for more than just a pretty face. Being "handsome" may be a merely physical quality; being "hot," as far as I'm concerned (and I think Kate would agree with me here) requires a certain degree of confidence. Not only confidence, but a voracious passion for whatever it is that you do. (As we know, for Keith Moon, this gusto was aimed towards drugs. And probably sex and rock and roll. But to a lesser degree than drugs.)

Yeah, that's right. I'm slowly killing myself! But I don't care, 'cause I'm hot.

Fortunately, Christopher Marlowe, our case study for today, was both brilliant and beautiful. And not, as far as I know, on drugs.

I shall don this pimped-out 16th-century frock smugly.

So listen up, ladies (and confused/generous gentlemen also reading along): who was good old Chris M.? Why, he was a lovely man born somewhere around 1564 (thanks to the Elizabethans for keeping only church records, and vague ones at that), who was stabbed to death in 1593! Wikipedia claims that Marlowe was known for his mysterious death. I'm gonna argue that there's not much that's "mysterious" about being stabbed to death. But why quibble? Wikipedia is, after all, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" (according to their subline on Google search).


In any case, Marlowe is probably most famous for his dramatic works, rather than for his death. Unfortunately for Marlowe, he was sharing the title of well-received Elizabethan tragedian with none other than William Shakespeare. Obviously, Shakespeare was slightly more prolific and commercially-successful than his good-looking counterpart. Imagine if things had gone differently! High school might look like this instead:

I think we missed out, kids.

Interestingly enough, Marlowe is often credited with having written some of Shakespeare's works. As to whether or not this is true, we'll probably never be certain. The idea will, however, give scholars of British literature something to consider for the next century. It's not like the UK is really giving them much else to think about.

Jk, JK. I'm sure they'll be all over your next book, "Harry and Ginny go to Whitecastle."

So, yeah. Christopher Marlowe. Wrote "The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus," which turned the German legend of Faust into a dramatic work. One scene involves personified versions of the seven deadly sins romping around with Faustus. Both hilarious and heart-breaking (I don't think gluttony and adultery really get along; harder to find extramarital affairs when you've got a turkey leg shoved in your mouth), this scene proves Marlowe's creative genius. Even if he was a government spy, magician, or homosexual (all three very unacceptable for Elizabethan gentlemen), as Wikipedia suggests, I think he deserves hotness points for his writing. And that smug little smile you saw in his portrait back there. Adorable.

And that's History's Hotties for today. Next...Eleanor Roosevelt!

Only not really.

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