The complex question of Shakespeare's authorship can not be solved without Marlowe.
Mucedorus the most popular play of the Shakespeare period , went through 17 editions between 1598 and 1668.- The words, “Newly set foorth,” on the title-page 1598 of the first Edition (s.Faksimile) may indicate that it was even written and produced at earlier times;
The appearance of the morality figures of "Envy" and "Comedy" in the induction and epilogue indicate an earlier date of production. The name Mucedorus, and the disguise of that prince as a shepherd, recall one (Musidorus) of the two heroes of Sidney’s Arcadia,
The question as to the author of the „Mucedorus“ play is controversial until today. Some attributed the whole of the play to Shakespeare (the first advocate of this hypothesis was the German poet Ludwig Tieck;) Others think it not improbable that the scenes added in the edition of (1610 s.Faksimile), were written by Shakespeare, whilst a third group of critics claim that Shake-speare had nothing at all to do with Mucedorus, other Elizabethan dramatists such as Lodge, Greene, or Peele, composed it in the beginning of his dramatical career.
A Spanish prince disguises himself as a shepherd , as a hermit, as a wild man of the woods, as a bear who combines cannibal instincts with a nice taste for romance; as a rustic clown; the bear instructs the princess how to distinguish between the hero lover and the Coward — these are all most notable ingredients not only of the play (multiple disguises, banishments from court, reavealing his identity) but also of the biography of Christopher Marlowe.
Does anyone believe, that the frequency of the dominant theme of Mucedorus ("loss of identity") corresponding to the destiny of Marlowe( banish, banishment, exile, disguise, hiding, concealment, hermit, secrecy etc. ) has no autobiographic roots whatsoever?
Some extracts of lines of the "Mucedorus" play
Segasto. You are still in your knavery, but sith
I cannot have his life, I will procure
His banishment for ever. Come on, sirrah, II/4
Mucedorus. Can Amadine so churlishly command,
To banish th' shepherd from her lather'.-, court? 2 III/1
Mucedorus. I linger life, yet wish for speedy death.
Ama. Shepherd !
Although thy banishment ahead be decreed, IKII/2
Mucedorus. Ah, Amadine, to hear of banishment is death,
Ay, double death to me, but since 1 must depart,
One thing 1 crave — III/2
Mucecedorus. Yet great dislike, or else no banishment.
Ama. Shepherd, it only is
Segasto that procures thy banishment.
Mucedorus. Unworthy wights are most in jealous}.
Ama. Would God, they would free thee from banishment,
Or likewise banish me III/2
Segasto. Why, thou knave, did I not bid thee banish the
shepherd, buzzard ? III/3
Segasto. I tell thee, the shepherd's banishment III/3
Segasto. Then you will not tell me whether you have banished
him, or no ?
Mouse. Why, 1 cannot say banishment, an you would give
me a thousand pounds to say so.
Segasto. Why , you whoreson slave, have you forgotten that
I sent you and another to drive away the shepherd?
Mouse. What an ass are you; here's a stir indeed, here'smessage, errand, banishment,
Mucedorus. Ay, that's a question whereof you mayn't be resolved.
You know that I am banish'd from the court,
go I know likewise each passage is beset,
So that we cannot long escape unknown,
Therefore my will is this, that we return,
Right through the thickets, to the wild man's cave,
And there a while live on's provision,
Until the search and narrow watch be past:
This is my counsel, and I think it best IV/5
Ama. Well, shepherd, sith thou sufferest this for mv sake,
With thee in exile also let me live,
(...)Unless thy wisdom suit mi- with disguise,
According to my purpose. I/1
Enter Mucedorus, to disguise himself. II
Come, habit, thou art fit for me. [He disguiselh himself.
No shepherd now, an hermit I must be.
Methinks this fits me very well;
Now must I learn to bear a walking staff,
And exercise some gravity withal.
Mucedorus . Yes, princel) horn, my father is a king,
My mother queen, and of Valentia both.
[Throwing off his disguise.
King. What, Mucedorus? welcome to our court!
What cause hadst thou to come to me disguis'd? V/1
And thou bright sun, my comfort in the cold,
Hide, hide thy face, and leave me comfortless;
I'll lei out all the rest, to see if he
be not hid in the barrel; an I find him not there, I'll to the
cupboard; I'll not leave one corner of her house unsearched.
V faith, ye old crust, I will be with you now. III/6
Com. How now, Envy? what, blushest thou already?
keep forth, hide not thy head with shame, V/1
And at his 'parture bound my secrecy
By his affection's loss, not to disclose it.
But care of him, and pity of your age,
Makes my tongue blab what my breast vow'd — concealment. IV/2
To-morrow the performance shall explain
What words conceal: till then, drums speak, bells ring,
Give plausive welcomes to our brother king.V/1