Entering the Garden: Marlowe and “Phaeton to his Friend Florio”

Par Roy Eriksen
Publication en ligne le 15 décembre 2010


Is Marlowe the self-confident poet behind “Phaeton to his Friend Florio” (1591)? D. Nicholas Ranson in “A Marlowe Sonnet?” (1979) argued in favour of Marlowe, but was met with skepticism or silence. This article argues that Ranson’s attribution is sound, but needs to be complemented by new analyses. This article proposes that the sonnet is one of several attempts by Marlowe to be admitted into the literary entourage of Mary Sidney. The sonnet’s Petrarchan imagery parallels that of two Marlovian paratexts: the Epilogue in Doctor Faustus echoes Il Canzoniere 269 (“Rotta l’alta colonna e ’l verde lauro”), whereas the dedication to Mary Sidney in Thomas Watson’s Aminae gaudiae eulogizes the countess as another Laura (“laurigera stirpe prognata Delia”) and refers to Marlowe’s poems as “sempervirens coma”. Thus both patron and poet belong to an Italianate literary culture in imagery that parallels that of “Phaeton to his Friend Florio” and Marlowe’s “Passionate Shepherd”. When adding that the sonnet, on close inspection, exhibits a number of the poetic techniques Marlowe contributed to establishing in England, the case for his authorship is strengthened and we can appreciate the sonnet as an expression of his desire to enter the safety of the hortus conclusus of the Countess of Pembroke.

Marlowe est-il le poète confiant qui se cache derrière « Phaeton to his Friend Florio » (1591) ? D. Nicholas Ranson le pense, mais son article « A Marlowe Sonnet ? » (1979) n’a guère été accueilli qu’avec scepticisme ou indifférence. Nous voulons démontrer que nous sommes d’accord avec Ranson, mais que ses arguments doivent être complétés par de nouvelles analyses. Cet article cherchera à montrer que le sonnet est l’un des nombreux outils utilisés par Marlowe pour se faire admettre dans le cercle littéraire de Mary Sidney. Les images pétrarquistes du sonnet évoquent fortement celles de deux paratextes marloviens : l’épilogue de Doctor Faustus fait écho au sonnet 269 du Canzoniere (« Rotta l’alta colonna e ’l verde lauro »), tandis que la dédicace à Mary Sidney dans l’Aminae gaudiae de Thomas Watson célèbre en la comtesse une deuxième Laura (« laurigera stirpe prognata Delia ») et décrit le poème de Marlowe comme « sempervirens coma ». Protectrice et poète se rattachent ainsi tous deux à une culture littéraire italienne à travers des images qui rappellent celles de « Phaeton to his Friend Florio » et du « Passionate Shepherd » de Marlowe. En outre, si l’on examine le sonnet de près, il apparaît qu’il utilise plusieurs des techniques poétiques que Marlowe a contribué à établir en Angleterre. Tout ceci renforce l’idée que Marlowe pourrait être l’auteur du sonnet, que l’on peut alors lire comme l’expression de son désir d’entrer dans l’hortus conclusus de la Comtesse de Pembroke afin d’y trouver protection.

Texte intégral

1The yearning for the strange and the distant is prominent in much of Christopher Marlowe's writing, a trait seen e.g. in the longing for grand and exotic vistas of the two plays about Tamburlaine and in Mortimer's final stoic lines in Edward the Second:

                Weep not for Mortimer,
That scorns the world, and as a traveller
Goes to discover countries yet unknown. (5.6.64-66)1

2The poet-dramatist's well-documented life provides rich evidence of a turbulent and high-risk life as a government agent and an intellectual who wrote on controversial topics in a situation of political turmoil and religious conflict. In the face of this predicament, and perhaps in direct response to it, there is in Marlowe also an expressed desire to escape in to the shielded world of pastoral, as seen in “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”2. As expressed by Richard Marienstras: “Moving from what is near, moving close to what is far off, inverts the usual relationship of man with his social and natural environment3”. It is precisely this move, I would argue, I would like to discuss in the present article.  

3Two of Marlowe’s paratexts allude to Petrarch’s poetry, the first being the famous Epilogue in Doctor Faustus, the second being the poet-dramatist’s dedication to Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, in his edition of Thomas Watson’s verse epic Amintae Gaudia (1592)4. The Epilogue’s opening lines, “Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight / And burned is Apollo’s Lawrell bough”, echo the opening line of Petrarch’s plaintive sonnet 269 (“Rotta l’alta colonna e ’l verde lauro”), whereas Marlowe, in the dedication, eulogizes the countess as a woman sprung from “laurigera stirpe prognata Delia” and refers to his own poems as “sempervirens coma”, or “evergreen tresses”. The phrases embody a clear wish on the part of the poet to enter the hortus conclusus of the countess at Wilton House, when situating both his desired patron and himself within the confines of a Petrarchan literary culture. He accomplishes this by aligning Mary Sidney, the Delia of Samuel Daniel’s sonnet sequence of the same title, with Laura, and himself with Petrarch5. This charged metaphorical and personal link calls to mind a similar allusion lodged in another paratext that has been loosely associated with Marlowe and the Sidneys: I refer to the anonymous sonnet, “Phaeton to his Friend Florio”, dedicated to John Florio (1545-1625)6, prefaced to his Second Fruites (1591) and published one year earlier than Watson’s work: 

Sweet friend, whose name agrees with thy increase
How fit a rival art thou of the spring!
For when each branch hath left his flourishing,
And green-locked summer’s shady pleasures cease,
She makes the winter’s storms repose in peace
And spends her franchise on each living thing:
The daisies spout, the little birds do sing,
Herbs, gums, and plants do vaunt of their release.
So when that all our English wits lay dead
(Except the laurel that is evergreen)
Thou with thy fruits our barrenness o’erspread
And set thy flowery pleasance to be seen.
Such fruits, such flowerets of morality
Were ne’er before brought out of Italy.

4The sonnet is a cross between an Italian (Petrarchan) sonnet and an English one, a most suitable choice in the context of praise due to an anglicized Italian. The two quatrains, rhyming ABBA ABBA, display the traditional Italian form, whereas the poet elegantly shifts to the English form of a quatrain followed by a couplet (cdcd ee), when the focus falls on Florio’s gift to “English wits” (l. 9). The sonnet, in this way, suggests a strong link between Florio and the group of literary-minded intellectuals in the entourage of the Countess of Pembroke7.

5Given Florio’s “rhetorical” name, based on the fact that “flower” signifies a rhetorical ornament, the anonymous poet puns repeatedly on the compiler’s name (flourishing, flowery, flowerets), commending his work to enrich the English language with Italian words and modes of expression printed in Florio’s his First Fruits : “Thou with thy fruits our barrenness o’erspread / And set thy flowery pleasance to be seen” (l. 11-12). The thematic division of the sonnet moreover concords with the conventional volta of the Italian sonnet, which involved an initial octave of hendecasyllabic lines, usually focussed on earthly love or as it were “sublunary” affairs, followed and “revised” by a sestet of six lines focussed on heavenly things8. The poet thus reveals himself to be steeped in Italian poetry and finesse. Could Marlowe, “the overreacher”, be the self-conscious poet who ironically dubs himself “Phaeton” ? I believe so. Marlowe would certainly have been capable of writing the sonnet and of being ironical about his own role as a poet.

6The identification has indeed been suggested before, by D. Nicholas Ranson in an article entitled “A Marlowe Sonnet?”, but, apart from Patrick Cheney, nobody has warmed to the suggestion. Cheney does not however include the sonnet in his and Brian J. Striar’s edition of Marlowe’s poetry9. Ranson lists four points in support of his case10, which are all interesting, but inconclusive. One relevant point is the fact that Phaeton is an important mythological figure featuring in Marlowe’s Tamburlaine, Part Two (V.3.228-45), but does not prove anything on its own. Nor does the fact that Marlowe knew Watson and Watson knew Florio constitute conclusive evidence for a close association. More substantial is the point that “Marlowe and Florio at least share the same publisher – Thomas Woodcock11”. However, more tangible evidence of Marlowe’s authorship is required. Such corroborative evidence is to be found, I would argue, in the combination in the sonnet of imagery that Marlowe uses elsewhere in his poetry and in the presence in the sonnet of a compositional style that Marlowe deployed both in his verse and drama.12

7Interestingly, Ranson suggests that Sir Philip Sidney may be alluded to in the phrase “So when all our English wits lay dead / (Except the laurel that is evergreen)”. If so, the reference would be indirectly to Sir Philip and, in the manner of the similar Petrarchan compliments paid directltly to him and to his sister in the Epistle to Amintae Gaudia, single her out as the heir to her brother in Petrarchan poetry. Marlowe here, too, in the guise of Phaeton, “insinuates himself into this company by identifying himself as the author of ‘the evergreen tresses of the Peneian nymph’13” Mary Sidney was an accomplished poet and translator in her own right, so the exceptional “laurel that is evergreen” is more likely to be the Laura-like countess, the Daphne-like patron-poetess who sprung from a “laurigera stirpe”.

8Leaving the identification of the “evergreen” laurel aside for a moment, let me consider the sonnet’s structure in relation to Marlowe’s compositional technique. In a blank verse sonnet in Tamburlaine, Part One, first identified by Paul H. Kocher, Marlowe affords us the privilege to peep into his poetic laboratory letting us get a glimpse of the main principles in his bag of tricks, exactly what Torquato Tasso had done in his Lezione on a sonnet by Giovanni Della Casa14. He emphasises poetry as an intellectual endeavour of the highest order, and the importance of inspiration, even heavenly inspiration, as does Sidney in his Defence. He stresses the importance of loftiness and unity of theme (“admir’d themes [...] heavenly quintessence”), while adhering to the compositional ideal of mixed unity (“immortal flowers of poesy [...] all combin’d”) kept together by the formal template furnished by the period (“one poem’s period”)15. Here Marlowe gives us a thumbnail sketch of his poetics, for these are the formal characteristics of the periodic sentence, what Michael Baxandall termed “the basic art form of the early humanists16”.In Tamburlaine’s “poetics” speech, however, the formal characteristics are applied to the larger simulacrum of a poem. In this Marlowe adheres to poetic ideals originating in Aristotle, and mediated by Renaissance theorists. To create cohesion and unity in long periods and longer poetic artefacts, Aristotle recommends verbal repetitions connecting their beginning, middle and end, that is, the crucial points that need to be interlinked if a plot is to have unity according to what he writes in The Poetics. The alignment between the structural properties creating plot unity with those creating the structural unity of a perfect period was noted and commented on by commentators on The Poetics17. It would seem, that the formal properties of the period could serve as an aesthetic ideal18 or formal template for larger texts; Aristotle mentions poems (dithyrambs) and long orations; in relation to Marlowe, I would like to add sonnets, poems or speeches in dramatic dialogue. The blank verse “sonnet”, which Kocher identified in Tamburlaine, Part One, would be one such example. The fourteen-verse “poem” embedded in Tamburlaine’s speech unmistakably contains the traces of a sonnet structure consisting of three quatrains with identical beginnings (“If all”, “If all”, “If these [...] all” ; [l. 161, 165, 169]), followed by a couplet:

What is beauty, saith my sufferings, then?
If all the pens that poets ever held
Had fed the feeling of their masters’ thoughts,
And every sweetness that inspir’d their hearts,
Their minds, and muses on admired themes;
If all the heavenly quintessence they still
From their immortal flowers of poesy,
Wherein, as in a mirror, we perceive
The highest reaches of a human wit;
If these had made one poem’speriod,
And all combin’d in beauty’s worthiness,
Yet should there hover in their restless heads
One thought, one grace, one wonder, at the least,
Which into words no virtue can digest. (V.1.160-173).

9As is plain to see, Marlowe here turns the very speech in which he defines (“one poem’s period”) into an illustration of, the principle involved, when using the Greek rhetorical term periodos to describe the mixed unity of a poem19. In the case of the Tamburlaine sonnet, it is likely that the sonnet-like structure represents the “reuse” of an actual (and no longer extant) sonnet on the topic of beauty but, be that as it may, what concerns me here is that the blank verse sonnet, at some significant points, preserves what appears to be the outline of an original periodic structure of repetitions. Thus “Thoughts/thought” enclose or frame the main body of the “sonnet” (l. 162, 172), whereas the word “poets” in verse (l. 162) is repeated in the related word “poesy” (l. 166) in its line seven, and in the word “poem’s” (l. 169), in its line ten, linking beginning, middle, and end of the textual unit. The bi-partition of Italian and many English sonnets into eight plus six verses is imaginatively present in the image of the mirror, in which what is listed in the first part of the sonnet is summed up in the second part (“all combin’d”). The string of repetitions comprises the following words : Beauty / thoughts / poets / poesy / poem’s / beauty / thought – words that almost by themselves form a poesy of words, reminding us that Marlowe’s use of this combinatory rhetoric in speech construction is one of his stylistic mannerisms in his work for the stage. In fact, the very speech in which Ranson found the reference to Phaeton and that he interprets as evidence of Marlowe’s authorship of the Phaeton sonnet presents a particularly striking example of this ars combinatoria20. In the example printed below, I have italicized the many repetitions and marked them with letters in the right-hand margin for greater clarity:

So, reign my son; scourge and control those slaves,


my son

Guiding thy chariot with thy father’s hand.


Guiding thy chariot

As precious is the charge thou undertak’st



As that which Clymene’s brain-sick son did guide,

When wandering Phoebe’s ivory cheeks were scorched,

And all the earth, like Aetna, breathing fire.



Be warned by him; then learn with aweful eye

To sway a throne as dangerous as his;

throne : topos of sovereignty

For if thy body thrive not full of thoughts

As pure and fiery as Phyteus’ beams,



The nature of these proud rebellious jades

Will take occasion by the slendrest hair


take occasion

And draw thee piecemeal, like Hyppolitus,

Through rocks more steep and sharpe than Caspian cliffs.

The nature of thy chariot will not bear


thy chariot

A guide of baser temper than myself,



More than heaven’s coach the pride of Phaeton.

Farewell, my boys! My dearest friends, farewell!


my boys

(Tamburlaine, Part Two, V.3.228-245)

Sweet friend, whose name [Florio] agrees with thy increase



How fit a rival art thou of the spring!

For when each branch hath left his flourishing,



And green-locked summer’s shady pleasures cease,

b c


She makes the winter’s storms repose in peace

And spends her franchise on each living thing:

The daisies spout, the little birds do sing,

Herbs, gums, and plants do vaunt of their release.

So when that all our English wits lay dead

(except the laurel that is evergreen)



Thou with thy fruits our barrenness o’erspread             (shallow)



And set thy flowery pleasance to be seen.

a b


Such fruits, such flowerets of morality

d a


Were ne’er before brought out of Italy.


10The anonymous and witty poet puns repeatedly on Florio’s name and commends the compiler’s work to make Italian known among the educated English, enriching the English language with Italian words and modes of expression: “Thou with thy fruits our barrenness o’erspread / And set thy flowery pleasance to be seen” (l. 11-12). He wittily makes the shift in theme after the volta coincide with the change from Italian sonnet form, two quatrains rhyming (ABBA ABBA), to the English sonnet form (CDCD EE). The lesson is that Florio has the same effect on “dead” English wits as that of spring on nature upon the barrenness of winter. Nature begins to flower and poets produce the flowers of poetry anew, as it were. The imagery is pastoral and the context is literary, as the Horatian ideal of utile et dulce,or profit and pleasure,is alluded to in the sestet, albeit in a playful key due to the imperfect and anagrammical rhyme (morality vs Italy; my emphasis)21.

11In point of fact, the sonnet’s imagery matches that of Marlowe’s commendatory epistle to Mary Sidney in Watson’s Amintae Gaudia. If we except the countess’s “evergreen” poetry, the contrast between barren English poetry and the revived poetry of wits inspired by Florio’s works structures the relationship between the octave and the sestet. Then, too, we observe that the allusion to the countess as a second Laura, “the laurel that is evergreen”, is placed in between the repeated key-words: flourishing/green-locked/ pleasures vs evergreen/fruits/flowery pleasance/fruits/flowerets. Such repetitions are typical of Marlowe, in e.g. “The Passionate Shepherd” and generally in his speeches. The repetitions may not be as elaborate as the ones in the Phaeton speech, but they underline the passage from winter to spring and summer and the fruits that Florio, coming from the warm Italy, has brought to England and English wits. Thus the conversion from barrenness and winter to spring and summer conforms with the conventional elevation of theme after the volta of the Italian sonnet22. Thus Florio’s “moral” gift, is the hyperbolical claim, is what redeems and harmonizes the poetry of England. The spirit of the sonnet is deliberately a bit tongue-in-cheek and that of a friend who can allow himself greater poetic licence than someone not close. In this respect, it calls to mind the imagery and tone of Marlowe’s companion poems, “The Passionate Shepherd” and “The Nymph’s Reply”. The latter is by many “believed to be written by Sir Walter Raleigh” but without any basis whatsoever23.The poems are written in the idiom of the witty philosophical companion poems and draw attention to the fact that Marlowe often “writes in dialogue with himself24”.The following stanza of “The Nymph’s Reply” is an excellent example of this practice and his response to the mini-genre of the coupled poems: 

The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
To wayward winter reckoning yields:
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy’s spring, but sorrow’s fall. "The Nymph's Reply"(l. 9-12)25

12We note how the stanza exhibits both the imagery and the tone we later espy in the sonnet to Phaeton, but here the female persona coily reverses the passionate shepherd’s “shallow” proposal to love and converts spring to winter26. The uncustomary and unromantic terminology used in “The Nymph’s Reply” (“reckoning yield”), matches that of the Phaeton sonnet (“franchise spends”). “Phaeton to his Friend Florio” celebrates the opposite movement and the miraculous metamorphosis prompted by Florio’s gift to English poets, but it is written in the same idiom and according to similar poetics. The metaphysical wit of both sonnet and the companion poems is in keeping with the general notion of Marlowe as “the Lucretius of the English language”27, whose unromantic terminology (“reckoning yield”28) matches that of Phaeton (“franchise spends”). These are stylistic traits that accord well with the tongue-in-cheek compliment to Florio, who is heralded almost as a greater Pan, or even Christ, who revives the poetry of all English poets except one, Mary Sidney, “the laurel that is evergreen”.

13When we summarize the points here made, Ranson’s claim that Marlowe was the self-conscious Italianate poet behind “Phaeton to his Friend Florio” is considerably stronger29. The sonnet therefore would seem to belong to Marlowe’s sustained attempt to gain patronage from the Countess of Pemboke, when other avenues were gradually closing down. For as we have seen, “Phaeton to his Friend Florio” shares imagery both with Marlowe’s epistle to Mary Sidney and with his own widely known pastoral poetry. Thus the two friends, the poet and the addressee, are closely associated with a literary milieu to which several leading Elizabethan poets belonged or tried to be admitted. “Phaeton to his Friend Florio” would thus seem to be a rare specimen of the poet’s “sempervirens coma”, that is, his lost sonnets, referred to by Marlowe in the epistle to the Countess30. When adding that the sonnet, on close inspection, also exhibits a poetic technique that Marlowe contributed to establishing in England, the case for his authorship is further solidified and we can begin to appreciate the sonnet as an expression of his desire to be "elsewhere". “Phaeton to his Friend Florio” conforms with an increasing tendency during the poet's last years to obtain patronage and enter the pastoral safety of the hortus conclusus at Wilton31.


1  Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus and Other Plays, ed. David Bevington and Eric Rasmussen, Oxford New York, Oxford University Press, 1995 (p. 400-01).

2  Christopher Marlowe, The Poems, ed. Millar Maclure, London: Methuen, 1968, p. 257-58.

3  For a similar desire, see Richard Marienstras, Le proche et le lointain. Sur Shakespeare, le drame élisabéthain et l’idéologie anglaise aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles, Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit, 1981, p. 18.

4  I quote Marlowe’s epistle and Mark Eccles’ translation from The Poems, éd. Millar Maclure, London, Methuen, 1968, p. 260-264.

5  Florio, a friend of Samuel Daniel’s, had married Daniel’s sister, Rose, sometime before 1585, when a child of theirs was christened. Joan Rees, Samuel Daniel. A Critical and Biographical Study, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press, 1964, p. 5.

6  Florio, who was the son of an Italian Protestant refugee, studied at Oxford. In addition to his two Italian grammars, Florio his Firste Fruites (1578) and Florio’s Second Fruites (1591), he compiled the influential dictionary A World of Words (1598), and the famous translation of Montaigne’s Essaies (1603).

7  The classical account of Florio’s life and career is Frances A. Yates, John Florio. The Life of an Italian in Shakespeare’s England, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1934; a recent study by Michael Wyatt enriches the account by adding new documentary details: The Italian Encounter with Tudor England: A Cultural Politics of Translation, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2005. Wyatt does not propose an author for the Phaeton sonnet.

8  See S. K. Heninger, Jr., The Subtext of Form in the English Renaissance. Proportion Poetical, University Park, PA, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1994, p. 87 and p. 77. Heninger relates the fact that sonnets in early manuscripts were written in seven bipartite verses with internal and final rhymes and that their main division was based on the proportion 4:3 exemplifying the passage ”from the world (the four elements) toward heaven (the Trinity)”. He reprints Giacomo da Lentini’s (fl. 1220-1240) sonnet “Io m'aggio posto in core a Dio servire” written in seven lines instead of fourteen as is the early modern convention.

9  Patrick Cheney, Marlowe’s Counterfeit Profession. Ovid, Spenser, Counter-Nationhood, Toronto, Buffalo, London, UTP, 1997, p. 331.

10  D. Nicholas Ranson, “A Marlowe Sonnet?”, Publications of the Arkansas Philological Association, 5 (1979), p. 1-8.

11  Ibid., p. 5.

12  Se my Ars Combinatoria: Marlowe's Humanist Poetics,” ed. Dominique Goy-Blanquet, Shakespeare. Variations sur la lettre, le mètre et la mesure, Paris: Société Shakespeare Francais: 1996, pp. 111–126.

13  Ibid, p. 225. Cheney comments and expands on my discussion of the laurel image in “Marlowe’s Petrarch. In Morte di Madonna Laura”, Cahiers Elisabéthains, 29 (1986), p.13-25.

14  Roy Eriksen, The Building in the text. Alberti to Shakespeare and Milton, University Park, PA, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001; 2008, p. 113-117; 168-69n.

15  See my “'What Place is This': Time and Place in Marlowe's Dr. Faustus (B),” Renaissance Drama, XVI (l985), pp. 49–74.

16  Michael Baxandall, Giotto and the Orators : Humanist Observer of Painting in Italy and the Discovery of Pictorial Composition, 1350-1450, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1971,p. 21.

17  Franciscus Robortello, In librum Aristotelis de arte poetica explicationes, Florence, Giunti, 1548, p. 72.

18  See my chapter “Carmen pulcherrimum: Latin Paraclausithyra and the Period as an Aesthetic Ideal”, in The Building in the text, op. cit., p. 25-47.

19  This also parallels the term carmen periodicum” used by Julius Caesar Scaliger, Poetices, Lugduni [Lyon], 1560, IIII.

20  Roy Eriksen, Ars Combinatoria: Marlowe’s Humanist Poetics”, in Shakespeare. Variations sur la lettre, le mètre et la mesure, éd. Dominique Goy-Blanquet, Paris, Société Francaise Shakespeare, 1996, p. 111-126.

21  For Marlowe’s witty rhyming in Hero and Leander, see Roma Gill, “Snakes Leap by Verse”, in ed. Brian Morris, Christopher Marlowe, London, Benn, 1968 (Mermaid critical Commentaries), p. 135-50, and Brian Morris, “Comic Method in Marlowe's Hero and Leander Wang and Hill,, in ibid., p. 115-131.

22  See S. K. Heninger Jr, op. cit.

23  Eds. Patrick Cheney and Brian J. Striar The Collected Poems of Christopher Marlowe, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 2.

24  Ibid., p. 4. Milton was alive to Marlowe’s companion poems and refers to them in his; see the fine discussion by J. B. Leishman, Milton’s Minor Poems, Pittsburgh, Pa., University of Pittsburgh Press, 1971, p. 127-29. Leishman notes that “they have some relation, though not, perhaps, a very close one, to a well-established academic and poetic tradition of witty and paradoxical debate”, p. 127. This is a tradition – I would like to add – to which both Antonio Fregoso, Ottavio Rinuccini and Marlowe belong.

25  I cite from eds. Patrick Cheney and Brian J. Striar The Collected Poems of Christopher Marlowe, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 160.

26  She does however in the end – and in a Lucretian hyperbolical mode – accept the invitation to love, providing the impossible preconditions be met.

27  Una Ellis-Fermor, Christopher Marlowe, Hamden, CT, Archon Books, 1967, p. xi.

28  The verb “prove” (l. 2) in The Passionate Shepherd” (l. 2) makes a similar technical” impression.

29  Patrick Cheney, op. cit., p. 11.

30  As for the unlikeliness that Marlowe was the author of 16 sonnets in a MS. by « C.M. », see Chauduri, Sukanta, “Marlowe, Madrigals, and a New Elizabethan Poet”, Review of English Studies, 39 (1988), p. 199-216.

31  I wish to express my gratitude to my colleague, Professor Peter Young, University of Agder, who has kindly read the article and offered valuable advice on theme and style.

Pour citer ce document

Par Roy Eriksen, «Entering the Garden: Marlowe and “Phaeton to his Friend Florio”», Shakespeare en devenir [En ligne], Shakespeare en devenir, N°4 - 2010, mis à jour le : 03/12/2019, URL : https://shakespeare.edel.univ-poitiers.fr:443/shakespeare/index.php?id=472.

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Roy Eriksen is Professor of English Renaissance Literature and Culture at the University of Agder, Kristiansand (Norway). He works in English and Italian Renaissance Studies, including architectural history and theory (1400-1700). In addition to The Form of Faustus Fortunes (Humanities, 1987) and The Building in the text (Penn State, 2001; 2008 pb), he has edited c. 30 books; e.g. Form and the Arts (Rome: Kappa, 2003) and Ashes to Ashes (Rome: L’Ateneo, 2006), Imitation, Representation and Print ...