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

2. In whose name does Leicester arrest Baldock and Spencer Junior?

3. Who does Mortimer order to draft a letter transferring Edward's custody?

4. How many days has Edward been in his dungeon when Lightborn arrives?

5. What employment does Mortimer give Rice Ap Howell at the end of Scene 5?

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

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

The world of Edward II, as presented by Christopher Marlowe, is one in which powerful men and women cannot control the forces that exist around them, try as they might. Write and essay about three attempts of powerful characters to control the world around them and failing. What tactics do they use? How do these tactics prove ineffective? What is the end-result for this character?

Part 1) Edward's attempt to control the nobility

Part 2) Isabella's attempt to influence the French aristocracy

Part 3) Mortimer's attempt to consolidate power in the English Court

(see the answer keys)

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