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 entreaty does Mortimer Junior make to Edward when they enter in Scene 1?

2. What does Mortimer Junior fear regarding Gaveston in Ireland?

3. What does Mortimer threaten Edward if he do not agree to Gaveston's exile?

4. Which noble resolves to murder Gaveston personally on his way to see Edward?

5. What does Lancaster intend to do with the writ of banishment after Edward signs it?

Short Essay Questions

1. What is Edward's state of mind in Scene 5?

2. How does Gaveston die?

3. Who is captured in the victory against Edward?

4. How do Edward and Gaveston react to Isabella's entrance in Scene 4?

5. How does Baldock calm Spencer Junior at the end of Scene 6?

6. What plan have the nobles mad by the end of Scene 2?

7. Describe Lightborn.

8. What is Lightborn's brave plan to kill Edward?

9. What revenge does Gaveston have on the Bishop of Coventry, and why?

10. How does Edward react to Leicester's departure?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The character of Edward II seems at times to be a man with a kingdom thrust upon him. He does not want, initially, to concern himself with the acts of kinship. Write an essay on Edward's relationship with governance in three parts:

Part 1) Gaveston is Edward's dear partner, but he represents something more essential in Edward's personality. How is Gaveston indicative of Edward's desire not to be a leader? How does he represent Edward's egoism?

Part 2) Describe the larger political events that swirl around Edward as he focuses on his personal happiness. What happens with France and Scotland? How do the nobles react? What comments does Edward make regarding his attitude toward his realm?

Part 3) At the end of Edward II, the titular character is transformed. How does loss render Edward a new outlook on the realities of kinship? Whatis his deepest relationship after Gaveston and Spencer Junior are gone?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay about the noble's as a group. What does Marlowe intend to say about the nobility of this time? Are they unified for a single purpose, or is each separately focused on personal advancement? At which points over the course of the narrative do individual nobles break from the collective will of the group? Which nobles are they, and why does each choose to break ranks? What is Marlowe saying about the way that history is made by individual men?

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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