Whose work did Christopher Marlowe build upon?

Christopher Marlowe was one of the key figures in the early stages of the extremely fertile Elizabethan drama. He is known to have written six plays, all tragic in nature, and often based on historical events such as the life of Tamburlaine, the reign of Edward II and the St. Bartholomew Day's Massacre. Marlowe was most affected by the work of his contemporaries, the so-called "university wits" including Peele, Lodge, Lyly, Greene and Nashe. All of these writers fed off one another so sophistication in dramatic technique increased astronomically in a very short time. Marlowe was and is particularly famous for the quality of his blank verse, an English verse-form first used for dramatic writing in such works as Gorboduc, English-language imitations of the Latin tragic plays of Seneca. Marlowe and his contemporaries, particularly Thomas Kyd, took tragedy far beyond the narrow confines of Senecan dramatic structure, allowing it to be much more entertaining. The roots of English comedy writing, also being developed very rapidly at this time, are different but do not have much to do with Marlowe, who did not write in the comedic vein.

Marlowe was a figure early in the very fertile period of Elizabethan drama. His plays are primarily tragedies, usually based on a historical event, such as the life of Tamburlaine, the reign of Edward II, and the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. He drew from the work of his contemporaries, the so-called "university wits" including Greene, Nashe, Lyly, Peele and Lodge. All of these playwrights fed off of each other, and the sophistication of dramatic technique grew astronomically in a very short time. As a group they built on the tradition of Roman tragedy, primarily Seneca, and earlier attempts to write English tragedy in the Roman style, including the iambic pentameter tragedy of Gorboduc. Some of these playwrights (but not Marlowe particularly) also drew on the English tradition of comic playwriting which is based originally on medieval morality plays, and followed such earlier comedies as Ralph Roister Doister and Gammer Gurton's Needle.