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. Whose presence in the approaching army grieved Edward in Scene 3?

2. What offer does John of Hainault make Isabella and Edward III in Scene 2?

3. In Scene 1, what position does Edward beg his captors not to allow Mortimer Junior to hold?

4. Whose entreaty finally convinces Edward to relinquish his crown?

5. What disaster does Mortimer wish befalls the King in his passage?

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

The play of Edward II focuses on the scripture of the English class system, in which people are born into their station and social mobility is looked upon with disdain. Focusing on three characters, write an essay on social mobility in the play. How does each character view himself in the pecking order? How does he seek to improve his station? What is his attitude toward the system as a whole?

Part 1) Gaveston

Part 2) Mortimer Junior

Part 3) Spencer Junior and Baldock

Essay Topic 3

Write an essay about the character of Kent. Does Christopher Marlowe intend Kent to act as a surrogate for the audience, reflecting its sympathies and concerns? With whom does Kent side for the majority of the play? What are his reasons for betraying Edward II and later Mortimer's faction? Are these betrayals understandable? Who is the audience's reaction to Kent's final fate in the fifth act?

(see the answer keys)

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