Chapter 1: Marlowe’s violent reformation: religion, government and rebellion on the Elizabethan stage
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This chapter addresses Christopher Marlowe, whose influence over his own time was significant, as he was one of the first playwrights to develop the dramatic formula we have come to associate with the now more-famous Shakespeare. In the years since his death in 1593, Marlowe has become an icon of early atheism and heresy, as well as resistance to an authoritarian government. In addition to his impact on the dramatic genre, Marlowe’s work, particularly Massacre at Paris, shows disdain for the violence that seemed to him endemic to the English Reformation, and suggests a nihilistic view of religion as detrimental to society.

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