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. What does Edward II intend to do as his armies are being defeated?

2. With what natural image does Kent characterize the vengeance he must face for betraying his brother?

3. What do Matrevis and Gurney use to wash Edward's face in Scene 3?

4. What is Edward's mother's name?

5. What information about Isabella does Kent reveal in his soliloquy in Scene 5?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Queen Isabella is perhaps the most dynamic character in the play, moving from wronged woman to warrior to conniver. Write an essay charting this progress and focusing on these three manifestations. What does she want from Edward II at the beginning of the play, and at what point does she give up on this hope? What does her relationship with Mortimer Junior say about her position in the conflict between Edward and the nobles? How does her personality change in the final two acts?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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