Depiction of Sensuous Beauty and Love in Marlowe’s “Hero and Leander”
Inspired by ancient poets through his Renaissance education, Christopher Marlowe recounts the story of two youthful lovers, Hero and Leander, in his titular work. Mainly focusing on the sensuous beauty and sexual naivety of the lovers, the poem accentuates the importance of physical appearance and the concepts of love, morality as well as fate in the Renaissance tradition. Preserving the original story in the romantic part of the poem, Marlowe indeed makes some alterations in the details and leaves the story unfinished which is completed by George Chapman after Marlowe’s death with the addition of the tragic part. Within this context, referring to Greek mythology and noted Roman poets, Christopher Marlowe’s “Hero and Leander” displays a love story carved out as a combination of the ancient corpus and the Renaissance values, which eventually puts forward a new approach to the well-known romantic story.
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