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Louis Ule believes this to be a portrait of Marlowe post-exile while going under the name William Cotton. Notice the similarity between his coat and the coat in the First Folio's Droeshout engraving. Also of interest are the shoelaces in Cotton's ear. It was a ritual for the daughter's of cobblers to give beaus their shoelaces to wear in their ears.

See the portrait of William Herbert (to whom the Shakespeare First Folio was dedicated) wearing shoelaces in his ear.