The Marlowe Society

Marlowe's Works

Marlowe's Works
Massacre Woodcut

The Massacre at Paris

The Massacre at Paris

History:

History:

Interpretation:

Interpretation:

Plot:

Plot:

References:

References:
  • Navarre:
  • But God we know will always put them down,
  • That lift themselves against the perfect truth,
  • Which I'll maintain as long as life doth last.
  • And with the Queen of England join my force,
  • To beat the papal Monarch from our lands,
  • And keep those relics from our countries' coasts.
  • The Massacre at Paris, Scene XVIII.12-17

The Massacre at Paris

The Massacre at Paris

Scene XVIII

Navarre Hails his Victory in Battle

Location: The Battlefield at Coutras

This very short scene finds Navarre victorious in battle against the King of France's army, an army raised by Guise but led by the Duke of Joyeux. Indeed the scene starts with the news that "The Duke Joyeux [is] slain" (XVIII.0.1 SD), signalling the Huguenot victory.

Victory once again offers Navarre the chance to offer up some protestant platitudes, reinforcing his belief that God is on his side: "Thus God, we see, doth ever guide the right, / To make his glory great upon the earth" (XVIII.3-4). Bartus hopes that this defeat may persuade Henry III to pursue a peaceful strategy, but Navarre is more bullish, hoping that the victory may act as a springboard, "And with the Queen of England join my force, / To beat the papal Monarch from our lands" (XVII.15-16). Ironically King Henry III will express similar sentiments to Navarre at the end of the play, just after he has been stabbed.

  • Note 1: As noted against Scene XVI, the battle referred to by Marlowe is the Battle of Coutras (part of the Eighth War) which took place on 20th October 1587. Coutras is about 30km north-east of Bordeaux in the south-west of France. Joyeux was captured on the battlefield and shot by Huguenots in revenge for a massacre at Poitou. Back to Text
 
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