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Understanding and Assessing Christopher Marlowe’s Personality and Creative Activity in M. M. Morozov’s and A. A. Smirnov’s Works on Literary Criticism


  • Department of Translation and Methods of Translation, Penza State Technological University, Penza, Russian Federation


Objectives: The article sets as its aim the understanding and assessing of specifics of approaches to Christopher Marlowe’s personality and creativity of the leading Soviet Shakespearean scholars of the 1930-s – 1950-s M. M. Morozov and A. A. Smirnov. It is found, particularly, in their perception of the historical chronicle “Edward II” as the top of Marlowe’s dramaturgic art. Methods: The methodological base of the research is based on the works of classics of the Russian literary and art criticism Alexander N. Veselovsky, Alexey N. Veselovsky, V. M. Zhirmunsky, A. K. Dzhivelegov, M. P. Alekseev, A. A. Anikst, Yu. D. Levin, researches in the field of the theory and history of the Russian literary translation and Russian translated belletristic literature (A. V. Fedorov, E. G. Etkind, F. G. Ovchinnikova, A. N. Girivenko, etc.), Russian-English literary and historical and cultural relations (G. N. Boyadzhiyev, L. E. Pinsky), history of the English literature (N. I. Storozhenko, M. M. Morozov, A. A. Smirnov, R. M. Samarin, Yu. F. Shvedov, A. T. Parfyonov). In the course of the analysis cultural and historical, comparative and historical, comparative and typological, historical and typological, and biographic research methods were used. Findings: The reasoned establishment of the facts of Marlowe’s influences in Shakespeare’s creative activity, in many respects resisting to an anti- Shakespearean position of I. A. Aksenov, attributing many of Shakespeare’s works to Marlowe, is called an undoubted merit of M. M. Morozov. It is noted that A. A. Smirnov as the researcher of Marlowe’s creative work underwent the complex evolution from the early works, substantially relying on Marx’s methodology, to the works, containing the deep analysis of the art world in Marlowe’s tragedies and based on the direct work with the art text. If M. M. Morozov in the majority of his works considered Marlowe in comparison with the genius of Shakespeare, A. A. Smirnov in a number of his researches characterized the works of the English playwright as something being of undoubted independent scientific interest. While having differences in their estimates of concrete Marlowe’s plays, M. M. Morozov and A. A. Smirnov were able to understand them in the context of the concrete historical era, having emphasized their humanistic and democratic inclination. Novelty: The study of M. M. Morozov’s and A. A. Smirnov’s works on literary criticism showed the importance of these authors’ publications in the evolution of Shakespearean study in Russia, having refused ideas of vulgar sociologization of the past and attempts to adapt Christopher Marlowe’s works into the context of the Soviet era ideology, they underlined their artistic and aesthetic value.


A. A. Smirnov, Ch. Marlowe, Cross-cultural Communication, English Drama, Literary Criticism, Reception, M. M. Morozov, Russian-English Literature Relations, Tradition.

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