Status, Sodomy, and the Theater in Marlowe's Edward II

  title={Status, Sodomy, and the Theater in Marlowe's Edward II},
  author={David H. Stymeist},
  journal={SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900},
  pages={233 - 253}
  • D. Stymeist
  • Published 18 May 2004
  • Art
  • SEL Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
While critics of Marlowe's Edward II have seen the play as an "unwitting tribute" to the dominant ideology or an iconoclastic rewriting of sexual politics, sodomy in the play constitutes a pragmatic strategy of representational ambivalence. On one level, Edward II condemns male homoeroticism when it is specifically combined with issues of status; in this guise, the play's apparent allegiance with legal, popular, and religious prejudice against sodomy functions to partially defuse antitheatrical… 
17 Citations
Sodomy and Stage Directions in Christopher Marlowe’s Edward(s) II
Nearly all scholars assume that the assassin Lightborne kills Edward by raping him with a spit at the conclusion of Marlowe’s Edward II. They thus assert that this act mocks the desire it
Rereading Transvestism and Desire in Christopher Marlowe's Edward the Second
Abstract:Roughly two decades ago, critics reoriented the central position of Christopher Marlowe's Edward the Second in discussions of sixteenth-century eroticism by clarifying important differences
Beyond Sexual Mimesis
This chapter investigates how a consensus developed that Edward II was murdered by anal penetration with a red-hot spit. I question its interpretation by scholars as a self-evidently sexually
‘Is it not strange that he is thus bewitch’d?’
This chapter addresses the representation of Edward II’s agency and culpability in his sexual and political relationships with his favourites. I situate depictions of Edward’s favourites as
Cross-Dressing, Queerness, and the Early Modern Stage
Female-female eroticism had no formal space in the dominant premodern discourse on sex, which posited the phallus as indispensable to a woman's social and sexual fulfillment. For this reason,
From Goats to Ganymedes
This chapter provides the first scholarly assessment of how Edward II developed a reputation for having engaged in sexual relationships with his male favourites. Edward’s reputation for
‘No escape now from a life full of suffering’
This chapter analyses accounts of Edward’s deposition and his subsequent imprisonment. I argue that early modern chroniclers exercised creative agency in selecting their sources for this period of
Male prostitution and the homoerotic sex-market in Early Modern England
This thesis explores male prostitution in early modern culture and calls for a reconsideration of linguistic representations of sodomy and homoeroticism in literary and historical criticism. It
The Aristocracy in Edward II
Edward II's weakness is the subject of the play, but Marlowe neither impugns his right to the throne nor offers any explanation for his appearance in a line of strong and efficient kings. Marlowe
Staging sex or fighting foreignness? Marlowe's Edward II as xenophobic drama


Marlowe's Soldiers: Rhetorics of Masculinity in the Age of the Armada
The Rhetoric of Soldiers' Desire in "Tamburlaine" Epic Masculinity in Troy, Carthage, and London Pleasure, Peace and Performance in Edward's England Paying Tribute in Occupied Malta - From Chivalry
Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare's England: A Cultural Poetics
In the most comprehensive study yet of homosexuality in the English Renaissance, Bruce R. Smith examines and rejects the assessments of homosexual acts in moral philosophy, laws, and medical books in
Men in Women's Clothing: Anti-theatricality and Effeminization, 1579-1642
1. Men in women's clothing 2. Troilus and Cressida and the politics of rage 3. 'Strange flesh': Antony and Cleopatra and the story of the dissolving warrior 4. Theatre as other: Jonson's Epicoene 5.
Edward the Second
Depicting with shocking openness the sexual and political violence of its central characters' fates, Edward the Second broke new dramatic ground in English theatre. The play charts the tragic rise
Sex, gender, and desire in the plays of Christopher Marlowe
This study enlists both postmodern theory and early modern history in a cultural reading of the construction of sex, gender, and sexuality in Dido, Queene of Carthage, Tamburlaine I and II, Edward
Renaissance Execution and Marlovian Elocution: The Drama of Death
J NTERPRETATIONS OF violence in Christopher Marlowe's plays have emphasized biographical, literary, and philosophical roots over social and historical conditions. Marlovian violence, the argument
"Discipline and punish. The birth of the prison", Michel Foucault, New York 1979 : [recenzja] / Jacek Sobczak.
In the Middle Ages there were gaols and dungeons, but punishment was for the most part a spectacle. The economic changes and growing popular dissent of the 18th century made necessary a more
A house in gross disorder : sex, law, and the 2nd earl of castlehaven
Sex, privilege, corruption, and revenge - these are elements that we expect to find splashed across 1990s tabloid headlines. But in 17th century England, a sex scandal in which the 2nd Earl of
The Devil's House, "or worse": Transversal Power and Antitheatrical Discourse in Early Modern England
Recent work on early modern England's public theatre has been preoccupied with the politics of the drama.2 Central to this preoccupation is whether particular plays were either critical, subversive
Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire
Foreword: The Eve Effect, by Wayne Koestenbaum Preface to the 1993 Edition Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Gender Asymmetry and Erotic Triangles 2. Swan in Love: The Examples of Shakespeare's Sonnets