Edward II


Christopher Marlowe

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The Bishop of Coventry is a high-ranking official of the Catholic Church who evidently helped persuade Edward II's father to exile Gaveston. He does not hide his displeasure over Gaveston's return in Scene 1, and the ill will between the two men quickly erupts into violence. Gaveston attacks the Bishop and tears his "sacred garments," and then Edward (who had been egging Gaveston on) imprisons the bishop and confiscates his property. The political tension this causes with the Pope, as well as the implied disrespect to the Church (or even Christianity itself) is what sets the plot against Gaveston in motion: Mortimer and the other nobles had disliked Gaveston from the start, but decide that something has to be done about him after the attack on the Bishop.
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Bishop of Coventry Character Timeline in Edward II

The timeline below shows where the character Bishop of Coventry appears in Edward II. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
The Bishop of Coventry enters on his way to Edward I's funeral rites. He reacts with displeasure to the... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
Some time after The Bishop of Coventry's arrest, Warwick and Lancaster meet with Mortimer Senior and Mortimer Junior to discuss the situation. ... (full context)
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
...the Bishop of Canterbury enters, explaining to an attendant what happened to the Bishop of Coventry and telling him to relay the message to the Pope. Hearing this, Lancaster asks whether... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 4
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...Edward of both his “allegiance” to the Pope and the attack on the Bishop of Coventry. Meanwhile, Mortimer Junior urges Canterbury to excommunicate Edward so that the nobles can legally depose... (full context)