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2. Uncanny Doubles
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about Marlowe's interest in his play in doubling and duplicating – focusing in particular on the doubling of characters within the play (e.g. the three kings named Edward, the two brothers Edward and Edmund, the two Spencers, etc.), the play's 'dialogue' with other plays (e.g. Richard II, Hamlet, etc.), and its engagement with the twin themes of life and death.
In this course, Professor Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University) explores Christopher Marlowe's final play, Edward II. We begin by thinking about the theme of homosexuality in the play, arguing that while the relationship between Edward and Gaveston is perhaps the most well-known aspect of the play, it is Marlowe's interest in relationships in general – as opposed to the actions of a single, central character – that sets Edward II apart from his earlier work. After that, we explore about the idea of doubles or duplicates in the play, thinking not only about the several pairs of characters who share the same or similar names (e.g. two Spencers, two Mortimers, three Edwards and an Edmund, etc.), but also the ways in which the play might be 'paired' with later, Shakespearean drama – especially Hamlet. In the third module, we think about the concept of social mobility in the play, before turning in the fourth module to the folkloric, fairy-tale aspects of the play. Finally, in the fifth module, we think about the motif of water in the play, focusing in particular on the various references to the Odyssey, the comparison of several characters to fish, and the various 'levels' at which one can understand the play.
Lisa Hopkins is Professor of English at Sheffield Hallam University. Her principal research interests are in Renaissance drama, especially Marlowe, Shakespeare and Ford. She is also interested in the influence of Darwin on fiction, adaptation, and the work of Bram Stoker. At the moment, she is completing a book on From the Romans to the Normans on the English Renaissance Stage. She is a co-editor of Shakespeare, the journal of the British Shakespeare Association, and co-editor of the Arden Early Modern Drama Guides.
Cite this Lecture
Hopkins, L. (2018, August 15). Marlowe: Edward II - Uncanny Doubles [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/marlowe-edward-ii/uncanny-doubles
Hopkins, L. "Marlowe: Edward II – Uncanny Doubles." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://massolit.io/courses/marlowe-edward-ii/uncanny-doubles