CHAPMAN, George, English poet, the earliest and perhaps the best translator of Homer: b. about 1559; d. London, 12 May 1634. He is supposed to have been educated at Ox ford 1576, proceeded to London, where he made the friendship of Shakespeare, Spenser, Mar lowe and other distinguished writers of the time. As to his personal history little is known, but he is supposed to have held some post in connection with the court. The first of his works, so far as known, was the (Shadow of Night,' a poem published in 1594. His translation of the 'Iliad,' in rhyming lines of 14 syllables each, was published in three sepa rate portions, in 1598, 1600 and 1603. It has been highly commended by such poets as Pope, Keats and Coleridge, as also by Lamb. Keats' sonnet 'On First Looking Into Chapman's Homer' ("Then felt I like some watcher of the skies," etc.) is well known. In 1614 ap peared his translation of the 4 dys sey in the same metre as the (Iliad,' followed in the same year by that of the 'Battle of the Frogs and Mice) and the Homeric hymns. He also
translated Hesiod's (Works and Days' and portions of various classic poets. He wrote numerous plays, almost all now forgotten, though containing some fine passages. The earliest of these was 'The Blind Beggar of Alexandria,' a comedy, 1598. He was asso ciated with Jonson and Marston in writing the comedy of Ho which from its satirical reflections on the Scotch is said to have nearly brought severe punishment on the authors. Among his tragedies are 'Bussy d'Ambois'; 'Caesar and Pompey' ; 'Revenge for Honor); and two dramas on the life of Marshal Biron, which Swinburne characterizes as "a storehouse of lofty thought and splendid verse, with scarcely a flash or sparkle of dra matic An edition of his works was published (1873-74). Consult Swinburne, 'George Chapman: a Critical Essay' (1875); Arnold, Matthew, Translating Homer.'