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By Caroline Humphrey, Stephen Hugh-Jones

This ebook issues barter, a transaction during which items are exchanged at once for each other wit....

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But herein did the justice of God most notably appeare, in that hee compelled his owne hand which had written those blasphemies to be the instrument to punish him, and that in his braine, which had devised the same. 31 It contains many of the same rhetorical elements as Beard’s version of Marlowe’s death: the precisely visualized horror; the strong emotion; the suggestions of supernatural intervention and poetic justice. And yet the impact of Edward’s death is quite unlike that of other deserved deaths in sixteenth-century plays.

Marlowe’s Edward II and the Early Playhouse Audiences 27 particular, they bring with them into the theater certain expectations based upon their experience, theatrical and everyday. 10 Exploring the expectations of the “active” audience offers a useful approach to analyzing response and assessing change in theatrical experience. As Raymond Williams comments, “An audience is always the most decisive inheritance, in any art. ”11 A significant element in these expectations is genre, and most studies of audience expectations have centered on this.

S. 4 (1979): 167; Marvin Carlson, Theatre Semiotics: Signs of Life (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990) 7. 17 Alan C. Dessen, Shakespeare and the Late Moral Plays (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987) 163. 18 On earlier plays, see Simon Shepherd, Marlowe and the Politics of Elizabethan Theatre (Brighton, Sussex: Harvester, 1986); Margot Heinemann, “Political Drama,” The Cambridge Companion to English Renaissance Drama, ed. A. R. Braunmuller and Michael Hattaway (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990) 173–7.

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