Hero and Leander

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DigiCat, 15.09.2022 - 16 Seiten
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'Hero and Leander' is a poem by Christopher Marlowe that retells the Greek myth of Hero and Leander. After Marlowe's untimely death it was completed by George Chapman. Marlowe's poem relates the Greek legend of Hero and Leander, young lovers living in cities on opposite sides of the Hellespont, a narrow stretch of the sea in what is now northwestern Turkey, and which separates Europe and Asia. Hero is a priestess or devotee of Venus (goddess of love and beauty) in Sestos, who lives in chastity despite being devoted to the goddess of love. At a festival in honor of her deity, Venus and Adonis, she is seen by Leander, a youth from Abydos on the opposite side of the Hellespont. Leander falls in love with her, and she reciprocates, although cautiously, as she has made a vow of chastity to Venus.

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Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury, England on February 6, 1564. He received a B.A. in 1584 and an M.A. in 1587 from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. His original plans for a religious career were put aside when he decided to become a poet and playwright. His earliest work was translating Lucan and Ovid from Latin into English. He translated Vergil's Aeneid as a play. His plays included Tamburlaine the Great, Faustus, The Jew of Malta, and Dido, Queen of Carthage. His unfinished poem Hero and Leander was published in 1598. In 1589, he and a friend killed a man, but were acquitted on a plea of self-defense. His political views were unorthodox, and he was thought to be a government secret agent. He was arrested in May 1593 on a charge of atheism. He was killed in a brawl in a Deptford tavern on May 30, 1593.

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