In the history of English literature, especially in terms of drama Christopher Marlowe bears an enormous importance for navigating a complete structure of writing drama, relieving it from the tiresome experiences of the miracle play, mystery play and morality plays. More over it was also an indirect impact of Christopher Marlowe that another greatest dramatist William Shakespeare could evolve in later generation. Some famous texts by Christopher Marlowe are Hero and Leander, Dr. Faustus etc. Here we’ve shared Top 10 Best Christopher Marlowe Quotes.
- Come live with me and be my love, And we will all the pleasures prove, That valleys, groves, hills, and fields, Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
Christopher Marlowe lived in an era when the celebration of courtly love was felt at its highest degree. It was the period that experienced the path breaking success of the genre of sonnets composed in admiration and courtship for poets’ lady-loves. Quite certainly Marlowe himself was not an exception to this soft sentiment. And this quoted line resembles aptly the romantic facets present in Marlowe. He is, by extensive use of hyperbole, offering such a harmonious juncture in his love that would make all earthly elements submit and yield to their one life.
- I count religion but a childish toy, and hold there is no sin but ignorance.
Although the time when Christopher Marlowe lived did not see Charles Darwin and therefore the strong defiance against religion had not been initiated with the knowledge of science, yet the university scholars of Sixteenth Century England did have the enlightenment to raise their voice against religion as and when required. And the weapon was the rapid spreading impact of Renaissance spirit in entire Europe. Here Marlowe’s voice of reason and logic is prominent as he proclaims that the institution of religion is a mere play thing and its regulations to define sin could as well be questioned.
- Live and die in Aristotle’s works.
Though born of a cobbler father Christopher Marlowe was fortunate enough to have a formal education in the University of Cambridge. Therefore he had a fair idea about Renaissance humanism and about the essence of Greek classical literature. It was the impact of classical literature in him that made him go against the traditional cycle plays running in England by the Church. Hence his adherence to Aristotle and his philosophy is pretty obvious. In fact it is only the magnificence of Aristotle’s works that make him forget the rest of the world and make such a claim as is quoted here.
- Goodness is beauty in the best estate.
Christopher Marlowe had an education and had been in an environment which ensured a vibrant surrounding with the essential positive impacts of Renaissance. The spirit of learning and free thinking and celebrating the honesty and truth in human existence was in its every single molecule. Now, a man imbibed with such rich culture can justly make an assertion that if there is anything beautiful in this world that has to be the purity of heart, the ‘goodness’ and nothing else. This is the very ‘goodness’ that he actually worshiped.
- Money can’t buy love, but it improves your bargaining position.
Being the son of a cobbler father Christopher Marlowe had had a firsthand experience of what hardship is once you have to struggle for each single zone of comfort. No matter how great a philosopher he might be, the practical aspects of life was never overlooked. He knew this very well that wisdom is everything that a man needs in life for his intellectual growth, but at the same time he also knew that the sustenance in life requires resources of livelihood. Therefore he made this humble comment about the necessity of money but again this comment shows his sense of humour as well.
- Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed In one self place, for where we are is hell, And where hell is there must we ever be.
Yet another practical comment about human society and human behavior in general is reflected in Marlowe’s this bold assessment of our existence in resemblance with hell. Greed for money, crave for power are not something that we have recently invented; rather they have been rooted in the very blood that has been flowing in our veins since inception. The Sixteenth Century England that Marlowe faced was not an exception to this. Hence he commented that the boundaries of Hell are undefined; it encompasses the places we live as and where required.
- Accursed be he that first invented war.
This quoted line should not only be coming from Christopher Marlowe but it must be the statement of any sensible man because war is the most dangerous thing man have ever developed to eliminate manhood from earth. The civilisation of England itself had evolved through many battles and wars during the Old English and Middle English period. Marlowe, being well aware about the past of his nation strongly fought against any existence of war. Therefore he had lashed serious attacks against the war mongers cursing them in whatever ways possible.
- Confess and be hanged.
There are double meanings in this sentence by Christopher Marlowe. First it could be sarcasm against the society and its practices that made every possible attempt to ensure that one who confesses truth must be eliminated in order that no other can risk the same stunt any more. And secondly Marlowe might have been angry at the criminals in the society and considering them as mere pests he wished them to be hanged after making them confess their crimes. In fact in his famous tragedy Dr. Faustus we also witness Dr. Faustus himself to be eliminated once his crimes cross every limit of mercy.
- Virtue is the fount whence honour springs.
Christopher Marlowe, being a successful graduate from the University of Cambridge had always been a devout worshipper of knowledge and wisdom. And it is proved fact that by virtue of his knowledge and writing he had achieved enormous honour and fame in his lifetime. In his writings as well we see the same statement recurring on several occasions. The statement is clear: if one has virtue enough to be noticed, that will eventually lead to a definite path of glory and honour. The birthplace of honour, in that case becomes one’s virtues.
- What feeds me destroys me.
This statement by Marlowe is at the same time sarcastic and realistic. It is a very common human tendency that once life becomes easy and there is no struggle needed to sustain the unnecessary leisure in life comes out to be a killing element as it paralyses the ability to work, and thereby makes the progress and growth stunted. Again if this statement is to be made against somebody it may seem malicious. Therefore in a humorous tone Marlowe says this about himself so that the sarcasm could get a little mild.