How were "love" and "prove" pronounced by Marlowe?

I was using the Christopher Marlowe lines, “Come live with me and be my love, / And we will all the pleasures prove”, to show my daughter that English pronunciation has changed over the centuries. But I don’t know how “love” and “prove” were actually pronounced in Marlowe’s dialect. I guessing either as in “clove” or as LOH-vuh/PRO-vuh.

Any help?

I haven’t had any luck on this. My googling turns up only references to love/prove as being an “eye rhyme,” which means they don’t actually rhyme but are just spelled as if they did. I don’t know whether it was an actual rhyme or an eye rhyme for Marlowe.

The first question is, of course, what was Marlowe’s dialect? He was born in Canterbury, in Kent, went to school there, went to university in Cambridge, and seems to have lived most of the rest of his life in London. So he may have had a Kentish accent as a child, and never lost it, or he may have acquired an educated Cambridge or London accent.

According to this, prove was pronounced like love.

Oh, Christopher. I thought you meant Philip Marlowe and was going to hunt down an appropriate Robert Mitchum clip at Youtube.

Thanks for the link. That’s would have been about my last guess: I would have bet on the the long “o”.

You’re welcome! :slight_smile: