George Chapman, 1559?-1634
Dramatist and translator, was born near Hitchin, and probably ed. at Oxford and Cambridge He wrote many plays, including The Blind Beggar of Alexandria (1596), All Fools (1599), A Humerous Daye’s Myrthe (1599), Eastward Hoe (with Jonson), The Gentleman Usher, Monsieur d’Olive, etc. As a dramatist he has humour, and vigour, and occasional poetic fire, but is very unequal. His great work by which he lives in literature is his translation of Homer. The Iliad was published in 1611, the Odyssey in 1616, and the Hymns, etc., in 1624. The work is full of energy and spirit, and well maintains its place among the many later translations by men of such high poetic powers as Pope and Cowper, and others: and it had the merit of suggesting Keats’s immortal Sonnet, in which its name and memory are embalmed for many who know it in no other way. C. also translated from Petrarch, and completed Marlowe’s unfinished Hero and Leander.