View Full Version : A Dead Man in Deptford
09-26-2010, 12:49 AM
Having recently read and loved Anthony Burgess' novel of the same name about Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe (review here (http://www.HistoricalNovels.info/A-Dead-Man-in-Deptford.html)), I'm intrigued to see that there's a movie based on the novel scheduled for next year. As a lot of the novel's appeal comes from Burgess' remarkable linguistic skills- he plays with Elizabethan language as the Elizabethan playwrights did, creating double/hidden meanings, puns and double entendres-- it's hard to see how that can be replicated in a movie. I'll look forward to seeing what they do with it.
I think a movie about Marlowe has been proposed before, with Johnny Depp as Marlowe and Jude Law as Shakespeare, but nothing seems to have come of that one.
IMDB link about the forthcoming movie
09-26-2010, 02:14 AM
Your review is an asset to the site, Annis!
Marlowe is fascinating in and of himself, and the further speculation (not indulged by Burgess in A Dead Man in Deptford, I hasten to add) that he may have survived to write the plays of Shakespeare makes him all the more fascinating to me.
09-26-2010, 02:54 AM
The Depp/Law Marlowe movie which seems to have been deep-sixed apparently was going with the Marlowe as Shakespeare theory. At the time the movie was proposed a source said: "The tone of the film is about Shakespeare's relationship with Marlowe and the suggestion that the latter actually wrote several of his plays."
Burgess' novel, of course, being Burgess, is also a rattling good yarn with plenty of action, which would translate well to film. It is typically controversial; there's quite a bit of sex (mostly homosexual) and violence- torture at the hands of Walsingham's hatchet man, Topliffe, tavern brawls, apprentice riots, hanging, drawing and quarterings- your usual Elizabethan fare. Burgess makes it uncomfortably clear though that the same issues of political morality still apply, (was Abu Ghraib, for example , any different to Topliffe's Little Ease (http://saints.sqpn.com/ncd04814.htm)?) and that the Elizabethans gave a lot more serious thought to questions of conscience, religion and philosophy than we generally do - if Marlowe was an atheist, it wasn't because he just couldn't be bothered. In fact, when Marlowe has Faustus say "the god thou serv'st is thine own appetite", I have an uneasy feeling that he could well be talking about us in the age of consumerism! (She says as she orders another book :))
09-27-2010, 06:13 AM
It is typically controversial; there's quite a bit of sex (mostly homosexual) and violence- torture at the hands of Walsingham's hatchet man, Topliffe, tavern brawls, apprentice riots, hanging, drawing and quarterings- your usual Elizabethan fare.
All to be expected from the author of A Clockwork Orange!
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