Kent is Edward II's brother, and thus spends much of the play torn between loyalty to his family and loyalty to England. Kent initially condemns the English nobles for voicing their dissatisfaction with Edward and Gaveston's relationship; in fact, he considers their open opposition to Edward's actions treasonous and urges his brother to have them executed. At the same time, Kent himself is clearly disturbed by the king's decisions and repeatedly tries to steer him toward a more prudent course of action (e.g. avoiding upsetting the Pope by attacking the Bishop of Coventry). As time goes on and it becomes increasingly clear that Gaveston's voice is the only one Edward will listen to, Kent's absolute allegiance to his brother wavers, and he eventually joins the nobles in rebellion—an action he later comes to regret as an unjustifiable betrayal of his own blood. Kent ultimately attempts to return to his brother's side but is arrested and executed by Mortimer and Isabella. Kent is thus a major vehicle for Marlowe to explore issues related to legitimacy and loyalty.
Edmund, Earl of Kent Quotes in Edward II
The Edward II quotes below are all either spoken by Edmund, Earl of Kent or refer to Edmund, Earl of Kent . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Methuen Drama edition of Edward II published in 2014.).
Act 1, Scene 4 Quotes
Edward: Lay hands on that traitor Mortimer!
Mortimer Senior: Lay hands on that traitor Gaveston!
[The NOBLES draw swords]
Kent: Is this the duty that you owe your King?
Warwick: We know our duties; let him know his peers.
Edmund, Earl of Kent Character Timeline in Edward II
The timeline below shows where the character Edmund, Earl of Kent appears in Edward II. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
...by the arrival of Edward and several nobles: Lancaster, Warwick, Mortimer Senior, Mortimer Junior, and Kent. Edward is attempting to persuade the nobility to allow Gaveston's return, although he says in... (full context)
...prefer the low-born Gaveston to those who would “naturally…love and honour [the king]”—i.e. the nobility. Kent then echoes Edward's earlier warning against defying a sovereign, saying that in his father's time... (full context)
With the nobles gone, Edward complains about the their attempts to “overrule” him and orders Kent to raise his military banners: he would rather die than give up Gaveston. Hearing this,... (full context)
...he intends to see Gaveston exiled again. Edward urges Gaveston to attack Coventry even as Kent warns his brother of angering the Pope. Gaveston ignores Kent and assaults the bishop and... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 3
Act 1, Scene 4
...Lancaster responds that the King cannot speak to the nobles so disrespectfully, and Gaveston and Kent are taken away under guard. Edward views this as the equivalent of “laying violent hands... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
...Gaveston, however, they do so by mockingly referring to his many titles. Edward, appealing to Kent for support, complains of the nobles' behavior, while Gaveston says he cannot tolerate their treatment... (full context)
...being executed, to which Warwick responds that Edward is in danger of losing his crown. Kent attempts to quiet Warwick, but Edward interrupts, saying he will “tread upon their heads /... (full context)
...Lancaster from seeing the King, but the commotion attracts the attention of both Edward and Kent, who emerge from the King's chambers. Mortimer explains what has happened to Mortimer Senior before... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Act 3, Scene 3
Act 3, Scene 4
...Spencer Senior, Spencer Junior, Baldock, and Levune appear, and they have a number of nobles (Kent, Warwick, Lancaster, and Mortimer Junior) under guard. Edward is boasting about his victory, which he... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Act 4, Scene 2
Act 4, Scene 3
...succeeded in buying off the French nobility and that Isabella, disappointed, went to Hainault with Kent and Mortimer Junior to raise an army. The news of Mortimer's escape and Kent's betrayal... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Act 4, Scene 5
...Junior and Baldock have fled with Edward II to Ireland—news which distresses Prince Edward and Kent. Isabella also professes to be upset about her "lord's ill fortune," but says she had... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Act 5, Scene 3
...that the torches be put out as the group approach Kenilworth. At that moment, however, Kent appears, and a struggle breaks out. Gourney and Maltravers's soldiers eventually succeed in seizing Kent... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4