Molly Greene

Date of Award


First Advisor

Aimee Michel

Second Advisor

Bernard Rodgers


Although Christopher Marlowe wrote Edward II in the late 1500’s, the play has lived far beyond that period of time, both in academic studies and performance. An examination of the social world, theatrical traditions, and popular ideas in and about the culture of the Renaissance reveals Edward II to be a true product of its period. However, it is also a play that has been adapted and performed frequently within the last century. Bertolt Brecht’s 1923 German translation and adaptation ushered in a whole new way of looking at and presenting theatre as he began to develop his philosophy of Epic Theatre. Tony Robertson brought the original text to the stage, in a Renaissance setting, and later to television in the 1960’s, and Derek Jarman’s film sets the story in the 1990’s, focusing his production on the politics of sexuality in the play. In this thesis, I have taken the position of dramaturge, researching and analyzing these productions along with the original text, and have included a brief proposal of my own ideas for a 21st century production. In each of these new incarnations of the play, new themes and ideas emerge from the original text, offering both variety and tradition in the play’s discussion of politics, sex, and power.

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