Shakespeare's opus.1→"Venus and Adonis offers an emblem on its title page ( 5th edition 1602, red arrow) showing a globe, a winged, laurel wreathed skull [a dead poet], an hourglasse with a remarkable phrase in an opened book
I live to dy, I dy to live.
I interpreted "this phrase" as an indication that behind the author's Name [Shakespeare] the hidden true poet made himself known with a "complementary" phrase (typical for Marlowe).- Marlowian Ros Barber ridiculed this inter-pretation in a "Marlowe Blog":
Barber:"...William Leake’s 5th edition, 1602 and those he published subsequently, depicted the winged skull and the open book with its motto. The reason becomes obvious almost immediately. William Leake had moved premises and was now to be found, according to the title page, “dwelling at the sign of the Holy Ghost, in Paules Churchyard”. The winged skull was the sign of the Holy Ghost, and “I live to die, I die to live” was the Holy Ghost’s message of everlasting life.
A survey of other William Leake publications confirms this; for a decade from 1602, nearly all of his publications bear this image (complete with “I live to die, I die to live”) on their title pages including: John Jewel’s Sermons (1603) • John Lyly’s Euphues and His England (1605)• Henry Smith’s Sermons (1605), • Robert Linaker’s A Comfortable Treatise (1607)• Leonard Wright’s A Pilgrimage to Paradise (1608). Presumably, no one is going to argue that these writers, too, faked their deaths to avoid being killed.
Perhaps Ros Barber is oversimplifying the matter. I'm not sure whether she is aware of the history of this symbol. There are arguments to follow not necessarily her "trivial" interpretation:.
1) The emblem is from the hungarian scholar Janos Zsamboki (lat. Johannes Sambucus) 1531-1584. In "Emblemata, et aliquot nummi antiqui" (1564/66/69) he gave to his composition (s.fig.) the title: "In Morte Vita" and dedicated it to the Venetian Humanist Paulus Manutius.- The corresponding latin text explains the meaning of the Emblem, dealing with the spanish artist and philosopher Louis Vives (Ludovicus Vives) 1493-1540 who died in Brügge (Netherland): "mortus non mors est, que etiam post funera vivit:. (Death is not deadly you can survive the funeral). Thus the contextual background of this emblem seems to have a plausible relation to Marlowe's (alias Shakespeare's) fate, better -at least- than to the "holy Ghost" brand of an obscure printer..
2) No other poet (except Marlowe) can be meant with the Poet Lodowick in the kings monolog of Edward III.-(1/II). Lodowick Brysketts (Lod.Br.) "Discourse of Civill Life Containing the Ethicke part of Moral Philosophie(1606) is highly suspect for a pseudonym of Marlowe/alias Shakespeare.-
3) The emblem also finds itself on a work and on a translation of Anthony Munday, 1602, which are not "at the signe of The Holy Ghost" but "at the signe of the Grey Hound."
4) In all mentioned authors exhibiting the (" dy to live") title Emblem you can place serious question marks for the autenticity of their actual authors.- Both,•Jewel and Smith, died decades ago, • the dedicatory text of Smith bears the initials W.S.! • Who is the complete unkown Robert Linaker, Who is T.D. in Linakers enlarged Treatise. 1607?.• Consider the mighty unexplained influence of A.Munday on Shakespeare (e.g.as an accepted source of "The Merchant of Venice")...etc etc..
5) Ros Barber is right that "no one is going to argue that these writers, too, faked their deaths to avoid being killed".- But what about the potential idea that there was a "omnipotent" writer [Marlowe] of unimaginable extent who from the very beginning (also during his "first" lifetime!) used pen names (such as A.Munday) to avoid coming under threat..-