Dining With Authors: Part Two




The drawing of the Swan Theatre (1596)

Hamlet, Doctor Faustus, The Tempest, and Edward the Second are just a few of the plays produced by the two greatest playwrights of the Renaissance: William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. Born in the same year–1564, they were the two premier writers of their age and arguably among the  most important of any era. These are writers who have informed both my studies and entranced my imagination.  At Muhlenberg College, I teach Renaissance drama courses and Shakespeare .



Christopher Marlowe


I would love to have the opportunity through a magic time machine to sit down and have a conversation with these two giants of the theater. I would invite both writers to spend an afternoon or evening at a pub–English of course–and over beer and food discuss many topics with them. I am sure that sometimes I would simply listen to them.

I would love to hear what they said about their work and how they felt about each other. I would love to learn from them the specifics of the way their plays were staged. I would ask Marlowe about his mysterious work for the Queen of England.  Was he a spy?  I do not know if he would answer, but I would still have to ask.

I would ask Shakespeare about the canon of his plays.  Were there plays he wrote that are currently lost?  If so, what are they? And I have often wondered if he ever considered writing a tragedy about King Arthur.

I also wonder how the two great writers would behave together. Would this be a polite conversation, a deep discussion of theatrical issues, or a wild and fiery debate or argument among bitter rivals?

I wish I could speak with them.



19 thoughts on “Dining With Authors: Part Two

  1. I would love to see the look on both their faces when they found out how much they have come to mean to the world of Literature, and then how very much money has been made off their works since… Bet we’d get an awesome and wicked new Comic Tragedy out of THAT!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Khaya Ronkainen

    Great choice of fascinating individuals to bring together over a glass of beer. It would be lovely to hear from Shakespeare himself, and his take on J.B. Priestley commentary. Does he feel he had been accurately portrayed?

    …many Shakespearean scholars cannot grasp the simple fact that a highly imaginative and sharp-witted young man like Shakespeare, familiar with theatres and their various patrons, dodging in and out of London taverns, could soon pick up all the scraps of expert knowledge and professional jargon he needed for his plays.

    Thank your an interesting topic, I could go on and on…:)

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s