The Second Prologue - Edward Gordon Craig


2 pages


The Second Prologue

Something Prophetic

Edward Gordon Craig | 1918 | Rapallo, Italy
The Interpreter, Amon, Erebus, Cronos, Father of Odin, Brahma, Eros, Jehovah, Quetzalcoatl, Kneph, Zeus, Christ-god, Momus, Odin, Vishnu, Shiva, Poseidon, Monan, Osiris, Baldur, Thor, Vulcan, Mars, Bacchus, Buddha, Hercules, Pan, Charlemagne, Arthur, Jeanne d'Arc, Caesar, Alexander, Yoshitsune, Agamemnon, Odysseus, Pompey, Aeneas, Achilles, Irin Mage, Napoleon, Nelson
Number of acts

The Drama for Fools is a large-scale dramatic cycle containing multiple puppet plays. This cycle kept Craig exceedingly busy between 1916 and 1918. It was supposed to hold 365 short plays and be performed like a traveling show: each night, from 31 April to 31 March, a new play would be shown in a new location. Craig, who wrote his plays under the pen name Tom Fool, stopped writing before the cycle was finished and gave up on performing the play himself. Nonetheless, he stored his drafts in three cardboard boxes, as a collection of typewritten notebooks containing many illustrations and whose covers display words written in colourful calligraphy. He cared immensely for these notebooks, as he improved, corrected, and supplemented them until the 1950s. This collection is today held at the Institut International de la Marionnette (IIM) in Charleville-Mézières.

Two typewritten notebooks of this Second Prologue have come down to us. They contain multiple handwritten revisions, and are kept at the IIM. Just as in all plays in the Drama for Fools, Craig signs this text with his pen name, Tom Fool. Yggdrasil is the name of the World tree in Norse mythology.

Plot summary

The creation of the world

On the stage, the Interpreter, who is a kind of demiurge, makes Earth appear and disappear into space. He then announces that the tree Yggdrasil will appear, along with three boxes. From the first box emerge gods from different religions, from the second one come out mythological and historical heroes as well as demons. The third box does not open up, but it moves, revealing that the box contains a being. The Interpreter calls him “the Messiah” and declares that he will come to “damn creation” - it is the announcement of the birth of the future main character of the Drama for Fools: Cockatrice.

Related works
The Drama for Fools, Edward Gordon Craig1914-1918
Composition date

Publications and translations


Edward Gordon Craig, The First Prologue. Lucile Bodson, Margareta Niculescu, Patrick Pezin (dir.), Passeurs et complices / Passing it on. Montpellier: L'Entretemps, 2008.

Modern edition

Edward Gordon Craig, The Drama for Fools / Le Théâtre des fous. Montpellier: L'Entretemps, 2012.

  • Edward Gordon Craig, The Drama for Fools / Le Théâtre des fous. Montpellier: L'Entretemps, 2012.


Conservation place

Institut International de la Marionnette - Charleville-Mézières, France
Literary tones
Not specified
Institut International de la Marionnette & Edward Gordon Craig Estate


Theatrical techniques


Written by

Didier Plassard