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This article describes how I use Marlowe's "Hero and Leander" in the class room to talk about rape and sexual assault. It also argues that Marlowe is aware of what we know refer to as rape culture and uses this concept to add context to the violent sexual encounter in the poem. For Marlowe this means a critique of the Petrarchian tradition and an awareness of how this tradition creates a situation where men can't take no for an answer and women are unable to say yes.doi:10.17613/m6x54r fatcat:mwp5hkkbdbfqheeo4erifehwjq