Saturday, May 18, 2013

Arrest warrant is issued for playwright Christopher Marlowe - 1593

On May 18, 1593, an arrest warrant was issued for playwright Christopher Marlowe, after fellow writer Thomas Kyd accused him of heresy. Fellow playwright Thomas Kyd, who wrote Spanish Tragedie (also called Hieronomo) was influential in the development of the revenge tragedy. Kyd had been arrested on May 15, 1593, and tortured on suspicion of treason. Told that heretical documents had been found in his room, Kyd wrote a letter saying that the documents belonged to Christopher Marlowe, with whom he had shared rooms previously. An arrest warrant was issued, and Marlowe was arrested on May 20th. Marlowe was bailed out of jail but was killed in a bar brawl May 30th. Though little is known about Kyd's childhood, scholars believe he was educated at the Merchant Taylor's School in London and raised to be a scrivener, a professional trained to draw up contracts and other business documents. Of his early work, the Spanish Tragedie (1592) brought him the most recognition. Some scholars believe it served as a model for Shakespeare's Hamlet. Kyd died penniless on August 15, 1594.

Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Great Britain’s Literary Legends. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following links:

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