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Hero and Leander (1 of 15)

Publication Date: January 28, 2011

Chapter: English Literature in the Sixteenth Century

Marlowe's "Hero and Leander," based on the mythological tale, was never completed. In what seems to be a really annoying trend through English literature, his unfinished fragment was later continued on by a different author (George Chapman) with a completely different (and considerably lamer) style. Happily for English students, the Norton includes only the text as written by Marlowe himself, left incomplete.

As our story begins, we're introduced to the beautiful Hero, who is a virginal nun in the service of Venus, the goddess of love (which also makes Hero a rather ironic virginal nun as well). Apparently, her beauty is such that when men are denied her love, they kill themselves at her feet. This constant cycle of suicide has actually left stains upon the bottom of her skirt that she can't seem to wash out. Maybe she should try some club soda.

As an aside, though unconventional today, "Hero" is a totally cool name for a girl. It also makes her sound delicious in Greek.

Author: Christopher Marlowe • Year: 1598 • Info: Wikipedia

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