I n C hristopher M arlowe’s (itself incomplete) Hero and Leander (1598), incompleteness lies behind seeming certitude; though they are keen to do something , Hero and Leander don’t know what they are supposed to be doing. ‘He askt, she gave, and nothing was denied’, Marlowe writes when the lovers first meet (D1 r ). 1 This sounds final and all-encompassing, but then it is revealed ‘all’ they have done is hold hands, defying, perhaps, our common expectation of what a romantic and sexual climax is supposed to look like. Later, during their first night together, Marlowe tells us that, though the lovers ‘toy’, Hero remains a virgin; Leander ‘as a brother with his sister toyed | Supposing nothing else was to be done’. At one point...

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview
Article PDF first page preview
You do not currently have access to this article.