Sunday, March 28, 2010

School Book: Christopher Marlowe: The Complete Plays

After reading Edward the Second last year, I wanted to read more of Christopher Marlowe's work. I picked up a copy of Christopher Marlowe: the Complete Plays on one of my trips to Toronto, so this is actually a List book as well as a school book!
After reading all seven plays, my favourite two were Tamburlaine the Great Part 1 and Edward the Second. Tamburlaine Part 1 is amazing! He is a shepherd who decides to conquer the world, which he does. Tamburlaine is a superman, both a crazy fighting machine and an amazing rhetorician. Tamburlaine Part 1 is a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I didn't really care for Part 2. Part 2 is Tamburlaine's downfall. Part 1 is based off of the historical facts of Tamburlaine's life, but Part 2 is largely made up, and doesn't work as well.
Edward the Second is still an excellent play. I've already spoken about it here, so I'm not going to go into much detail. I'd love to see a performance of it though.
The other plays were alright as well. They just couldn't live up to the awesome of these two. Dido, Queen of Carthage seemed kind of silly, but it was pretty fun. The ending really added to the silliness (it shouldn't have been silly, but it's so over the top that it is!) The Jew of Malta was also pretty fun. Some of the things that happen in it are so unlikely it's hilarious. The Massacre of Paris was pretty over the top, too. A lot of people die (it IS a massacre) and it's a bit confusing, but I didn't mind it. I think the biggest disappointment was Doctor Faustus. Doctor Faustus was really built up, but I had a hard time getting into it.
So overall, I really liked Christopher Marlowe's plays. They all seemed to be over the top and fun, making them really enjoyable reads.

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