‘Ransacke the Ocean for orient pearle’
Christopher Marlowe makes very little use of the traditional tropes of the sea in his plays The Jew of Malta, Dido, Queen of Carthage, Hero and Leander, Tamburlaine, Dr Faustus, and Edward II. The characteristic Marlovian note is in evocation rather than simile or metaphor. Here the voyage is the image of desire, but also an image of separation. According to Stephen Greenblatt, the heroes of Marlowe's plays are forever engaged in temporary expedients to create meaning in a meaningless world, relying on ‘a network of fictions’ to reconstitute themselves and their world.
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