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

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

Short Answer Questions

1. Which nobles' deaths does Mortimer confirm in his report to Isabella in Scene 2?

2. What announcement has Spencer Junior recently made in Scene 3?

3. Why does Isabella state she feels some sadness after the battle?

4. What does Edward III want to do at the beginning of Scene 2?

5. What does Spencer Junior state wills his and Baldock's arrest?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

In Marlowe's medieval England, murder is a carefully chosen and strategically effective means for altering the political dynamics of the realm. Write an essay about the key murders of the play and their effects in three parts:

Part 1) What are the noble's essential issues with Gaveston, and what other tactics do they attempt before murdering him? What is the final straw for the nobles, and what do they achieve with Gaveston's murder?

Part 2) Who decides that Kent must die, and how does he go about accomplishing this end? What is Kent's role in the political world of Edward II, and how does his removal change the dynamic?

Part 3) The murder of a king i s a major decision, rife with awful possibilities. Why do Isabella and Mortimer Junior decide to have Edward II killed after he is deposed? What do they hope to achieve? What is the ultimate result of this murder?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Edward II is a man who clearly does not have a clear definition of self. Write an essay exploring his quest for identity in the play. What do his passionate defenses of the unpopular Gaveston and Spencer Junior say about his sense of his place in England? Does he view himself as a king at the beginning of the play? What does his unwillingness to relinquish his crown at the end indicate about his progress over the course of the narrative?

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