Edward II: The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable End of Edward the Second, King of England, with the Tragical Fall of Proud Mortimer Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What skill does the first poor man who approaches Gaveston for preferment possess?

2. What event does Edward plan for Gaveston's return?

3. Which of the following men is not a group that Gaveston announces he wants to keep about him and the king?

4. Who is the first noble that Edward publicly forgives after Gaveston is repealed in Scene 4?

5. What part of Edward's body does he chastise Gaveston not to kiss?

Short Essay Questions

1. How do the nobles respond to Gaveston's advancement?

2. To what extent is Mortimer's pride getting the best of him in Scene 4?

3. Describe Lightborn.

4. In what precarious situation are Spencer Junior and Baldock in Act 2, Scene 1?

5. What is Baldock's attitude toward the court?

6. Describe the reassurances that the Abbot gives Edward II at the beginning of the scene.

7. How does Rice Ap Howell track down Edward?

8. What is the state of the Bishop of Coventry in Scene 2?

9. What fears do the nobles have regarding Kent in Scene 3?

10. What is Mortimer's plan regarding Edward III?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Write an essay on the representation of evil in Edward II. Begin with the character of Lightborn as Marlowe's demonic creation; then examine some of the more subtle and ambiguous forms of evil in the story. Are there any major players that are completely malevolent? Does almost every major figure display some capacity for evil deeds? What is Marlowe saying about human nature with this cast of characters?

Essay Topic 2

Much of Marlowe's play deal with the relationship of the sovereign to his peers and vice versa. The plot is driven by two men whose understanding of this relationship is unsound. Write an essay about these men in two parts:

Part 1) How does Edward II represent a king who does not understand the responsibilities of his office? To what extent does he want to enjoy all of the perks of kinship without the responsibility? What conflict does this create? What end does Edward meet as a result?

Part 2) What duty does Mortimer Junior owe to his king that he is unwilling to bestow? How does he justify his unwillingness to respect this customary relationship? In what ways are his arguments reasonable, and i what ways is he simply an ambitious over-reacher? How is his demise brought about by this lack of respect for the sovereign-peer relationship?

Essay Topic 3

Betrayal is a constant driver of plot in Edward II. Power players of medieval England make vows to each other which they break quickly for political advancement or due to lack of resolve. Write an essay about betrayal in the play, in three parts:

Part 1) Mortimer Junior vows to his fellow peers that he cannot allow Gaveston to remain in England, but he relents soon thereafter. How is he so easily swayed to change his mind? How does this put the other nobles in danger? Does it display a weakness that will later destroy him?

Part 2) Isabella constantly swears fidelity and love to Edward, but by Act 4, he is championing the cause of Mortimer Junior. Why is this? Do you buy the justification of her betrayal? How does she pay for it in the final scene of the play?

Part 3) Kent twice betrays the side to whom he has sworn fidelity. How are these two betrayals the most understandable to the audience? Are they the result of conscience rather than ambition?

(see the answer keys)

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