Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Member

Dr. Elizabeth Rivlin, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. William Stockton

Committee Member

Dr. Andrew Lemons


This paper addresses the role that Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II plays in the establishing and expanding of an early modern public sphere. By examining the ways that power is earned, and wielded in the play, Marlowe demonstrates an economy of cultural credit that operates in both the financial and the socio/political spheres of public life in early modern England. Marlowe applies the logic of that economy beyond the realm of the common people and subjects the historical monarch to the same parameters of judgement that flourished in society, drawing parallels with the currently reigning Elizabeth I, and opening up a discourse that reexamines the markers of credit, power and birth-ordered hierarchies.