Christopher Marlowe

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Christopher Marlowe was arguably the greatest of the Elizabethan playwrights, although most would tend to give that honor to Shakespeare. Marlowe invented the "blank verse" or iambic pentameter form which was brought to its full flower with Shakespeare, but his Tamburlaine the Great is one of the best examples of the style. He is most famous, though, for Doctor Faustus, a play which is often performed to this day.

Marlowe's career was cut short by his death at a relatively young age. Rumours and conspiracy theories abound concerning his death. The most common, and most plausible, is that he was working as a spy for Walsingham, the spymaster for Queen Elizabeth I, who decided that he was a liabilty and had him murdered by another agent of his in the guise of a brawl over the "reckoning" or bill at meeting house.