Edward II And Beggar's Opera Essay

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As we have discussed in class, theater conventions change over time with the changes in social and political issues. To show this, I will discuss the differences between the plays, “Edward II”, which was played during the Elizabethan period (1594) and “Beggar’s Opera”, which was played during the 17th century (1727). First I will discuss the play, Edward II written by Christopher Marlowe. Christopher Marlowe is known as the first great Renaissance playwright since he was the first who made plays that were non-secular, meaning that it was neither about the church nor religion. This specific play is about King Edward II, who was in power in history and his friend Gaveston took him away from his royal and important duties and made King Edward …show more content…
This play is about an opera that the characters, Beggar and Player, made and the story is about a robber who has many lovers and he married the daughter of the criminal highwaymen and gets into further trouble to get into prison but the Beggar and the Player change the story right at the very end so that the robber does not get executed. The particular scene that I chose for this play was Act 1, scene 1 where the parents find out that their daughter, Polly, has married the robber, Macheath, and gets mad but they realize that they can just use him to get more money. This play is very different from “Edward II” because it was performed in 1727. It was the very first play about a poor common man. This was no ordinary play either; it was an opera with singing at times. However, there is an irony in the name since and opera was usually for the higher-class society while a beggar is in the lowest class society. Thus, it was very popular at the time and was performed 62 times versus the usual 3-9 times that a play would be performed. Another thing that has changed was that the audience members do not sit on the stage anymore. The audience area would dim when the play was about to start and the lights were on the stage so that the audience would quiet down and focus on what is happening on stage. There is one similar point to these plays; both plays talk about someone being crazy about one person but are handled in different ways. In “Beggar’s Opera”, they put him in jail and try to execute him while in “Edward II”, they go to war against the

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