Edward II

by

Christopher Marlowe

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Edward II Character Analysis

Edward is, of course, the play's title character, and the plot more or less corresponds to the course of his actual historical reign (though the play significantly compresses the events of his reign), beginning with his ascension to the throne and ending shortly after his death. That said, Edward is often less compelling as a character than either his lover, Gaveston, or his enemy, Mortimer. This is telling, since one of the primary complaints the English nobility lodge against the king is that he is weak. It's certainly true that Edward has little interest in war, and that he tends to blindly comply with the advice and wishes of his favorites. He is also moodier than a ruler probably ought to be, often swinging between hopeless self-pity and vows of violent revenge. To Edward's credit, however, he seems to know on some level that he is not especially suited to being king. At the very least, he occasionally expresses dissatisfaction with his position, saying he would happily give up his power if that meant he could be with Gaveston. Perhaps the best way of understanding Edward, then, is as a man who values personal happiness and relationships over public life. His devotion to Gaveston and his enjoyment of theater and pageantry are perfectly normal, although the play's events suggest these traits are not compatible with the strength and cunning required of a medieval ruler. In the end, Edward is overthrown and murdered by his wife Isabella and Mortimer, although his son— Edward III—avenges his death.

Edward II Quotes in Edward II

The Edward II quotes below are all either spoken by Edward II or refer to Edward II. 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:
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
). 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 1 Quotes

These are not men for me;
I must have wanton poets, pleasant wits,
Musicians, that with touching of a string
May draw the pliant King which way I please.
…In the day when he shall walk abroad,
Like sylvan nymphs my pages shall be clad.
My men like satyrs grazing on the lawns,
Shall with their goat-feet dance an antic hay;
Sometime a lovely boy in Dian's shape,
With hair that gilds the water as it glides,
Crownets of pearl above his naked arms,
And in his sportful hands an olive tree
To hide those parts which men delight to see,
Shall bathe him in a spring.

Related Characters: Piers Gaveston (speaker), Edward II
Page Number: 1.1.549–65
Explanation and Analysis:

My lord, why do you thus incense your peers
That naturally would love and honour you,
But for that base and obscure Gaveston?

Related Characters: The Earl of Lancaster (speaker), Edward II, Piers Gaveston
Page Number: 1.1.98–100
Explanation and Analysis:

Come uncle, let us leave the brainsick King,
And henceforth parley with our naked swords.

Related Characters: Mortimer Junior (speaker), Edward II, Piers Gaveston, Mortimer Senior
Page Number: 1.1.124–125
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 1, Scene 2 Quotes

Bishop of Canterbury: …We and the rest that are his councillors
Will meet and with a general consent
Confirm his banishment with our hands and seals.

Lancaster: What we confirm the King will frustrate.

Mortimer Junior: Then may we lawfully revolt from him.

Related Characters: Mortimer Junior (speaker), The Earl of Lancaster (speaker), Bishop of Canterbury (speaker), Edward II, Piers Gaveston
Page Number: 1.2.69–73
Explanation and Analysis:
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.

Related Characters: Edward II (speaker), Edmund, Earl of Kent (speaker), Mortimer Senior (speaker), Guy, Earl of Warwick (speaker), Piers Gaveston, Mortimer Junior
Page Number: 1.4.20–23
Explanation and Analysis:

Rend not my heart with thy too-piercing words.
Thou from this land, I from my self am banished.

Related Characters: Edward II (speaker), Piers Gaveston
Page Number: 1.4.117–118
Explanation and Analysis:

Edward: Fawn not on me, French strumpet; get thee gone.

Isabella: On whom but on my husband should I fawn?

Gaveston: On Mortimer, with whom, ungentle Queen—
I say no more; judge you the rest, my lord.

Related Characters: Edward II (speaker), Piers Gaveston (speaker), Isabella (speaker), Mortimer Junior
Page Number: 1.4.145–148
Explanation and Analysis:

His wanton humour grieves not me,
But this I scorn, that one so basely born
Should by his sovereign's favour grow so pert,
And riot it with the treasure of the realm
While soldiers mutiny for want of pay.
He wear's a lord's revenue on his back,
And Midas-like he jets it in the court
With base outlandish cullions at his heels,
Whose proud fantastic liveries make such show
As if that Proteus, god of shapes, appeared.
I have not seen a dapper jack so brisk;
He wears a short Italian hooded cloak,
Larded with pearl; and in his Tuscan cap
A jewel of more value than the crown.
Whiles other walk below, the King and he
From out a window laugh at such as we,
And flout our train and jest at our attire.

Related Characters: Mortimer Junior (speaker), Edward II, Piers Gaveston
Page Number: 1.4.403–419
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

Lancaster: Look for rebellion, look to be deposed:
Thy garrisons are beaten out of France,
And, lame and poor, lie groaning at the gates;
The wild O'Neill, with swarms of Irish kerns,
Lives uncontrolled within the English pale;
Unto the walls of York the Scots made road
And, unresisted, drove away rich spoils.

Mortimer Junior: The haughty Dane commands the narrow seas,
While in the harbour ride thy ships unrigged.

Related Characters: The Earl of Lancaster (speaker), Edward II
Page Number: 2.2.158–164
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 4 Quotes

Monster of men,
That, like the Greekish strumpet, trained to arms
And bloody wars so many valiant knights,
Look for no other fortune, wretch, than death;
King Edward is not here to buckler thee.

Related Characters: The Earl of Lancaster (speaker), Edward II, Piers Gaveston
Page Number: 2.4.14–18
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

Edward: O, shall I speak, or shall I sigh and die?

Spencer Junior: My lord, refer your vengeance to the sword
Upon these barons.

Related Characters: Edward II (speaker), Spencer Junior (speaker), Piers Gaveston, Guy, Earl of Warwick
Page Number: 3.2.121—123
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 3 Quotes

Mortimer Junior: Then, Edward, thou wilt fight it to the last,
And rather bathe thy sword in subjects' blood
Than banish that pernicious company?

Edward: Ay, traitors all! Rather than thus be braved,
Make England's civil towns huge heaps of stones
And ploughs to go about our palace gates.

Warwick: A desperate and unnatural resolution.

Related Characters: Edward II (speaker), Mortimer Junior (speaker), Guy, Earl of Warwick (speaker), Spencer Junior
Page Number: 3.3.27–33
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 4 Quotes

Isabella:…A heavy case,
When force to force is knit, and sword and glaive
In civil broils make kin and countrymen
Slaughter themselves in others, and their sides
With their own weapons gored. But what's the help?
Misgoverned kings are cause of all this wrack;
And Edward, thou art one among them all,
Whose looseness hath betrayed thy land to spoil
And made the channels overflow with blood.
Of thine own people patron shouldst thou be,
But thou—

Mortimer Junior: Nay madam, if you be a warrior,
Ye must not grow so passionate in speeches.

Related Characters: Mortimer Junior (speaker), Isabella (speaker), Edward II
Page Number: 4.4.4–15
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 5 Quotes

Successful battles gives the God of kings
To them that fight in right and fear his wrath.
Since then successfully we have prevailed,
Thanks be heaven's great architect and you…
Sith the fates
Have made [Edward II] so infortunate,
Deal you, my lords, in this, my loving lords,
As to your wisdoms fittest seems in all.

Related Characters: Isabella (speaker), Edward II
Page Number: 4.5.28–38
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 6 Quotes

But what is he, whom rule and empery
Have not in life or death made miserable?

Related Characters: Edward II (speaker)
Page Number: 4.6.14–15
Explanation and Analysis:

Spencer, I see our souls are fleeted hence;
We are deprived the sunshine of our life.
Make for a new life, man; throw up thy eyes,
And heart and hand to heaven's immortal throne,
Pay nature's debt with cheerful countenance.
Reduce we all our lessons unto this:
To die, sweet Spencer, therefore live we all;
Spencer, all live to die, and rise to fall.

Related Characters: Baldock (speaker), Edward II, Spencer Junior
Related Symbols: The Sun
Page Number: 4.6.104–111
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

But what are kings, when regiment is gone,
But perfect shadows in a sunshine day?
My nobles rule; I bear the name of King.
I wear the crown, but am controlled by them

Related Characters: Edward II (speaker), Mortimer Junior
Related Symbols: The Sun
Page Number: 5.1.27–30
Explanation and Analysis:

Well may I rend his name that rends my heart!
This poor revenge hath something eased my mind.
So may his limbs be torn, as is this paper!

Related Characters: Edward II (speaker), Mortimer Junior
Page Number: 5.1.140–142
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

As thou intendest to rise by Mortimer,
Who now makes Fortune's wheel turn as he please,
Seek all the means thou canst to make him droop,
And neither give him kind word nor good look.

Related Characters: Mortimer Senior (speaker), Edward II, Gourney 
Page Number: 5.2.51–54
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 3 Quotes

O, miserable is that commonweal, where lords
Keep courts and kings are locked in prison!

Related Characters: Edmund, Earl of Kent (speaker), Edward II
Page Number: 5.3.63–64
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 5 Quotes

And there in mire and puddle have I stood
This ten days' space; and lest that I should sleep,
One plays continually upon a drum.
They give me bread and water being a king,
So that for want of sleep and sustenance
My mind's distempered and my body's numbed,
And whether I have limbs or no, I know not.

Page Number: 5.5.58–64
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 6 Quotes

King Edward III: Traitor, in me my loving father speaks
And plainly saith, 'twas thou that murd'redst him.

Mortimer Junior: But hath your grace no other proof than this?

King Edward III: Yes, if this be the hand of Mortimer.

[He presents the letter]

Related Characters: Mortimer Junior (speaker), Prince Edward/Edward III (speaker), Edward II
Page Number: 5.6.41–44
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Edward II LitChart as a printable PDF.
Edward II PDF

Edward II Character Timeline in Edward II

The timeline below shows where the character Edward II appears in Edward II. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...aloud from a letter informing him of the death of the former king of England, Edward I. As Gaveston goes on, it becomes clear that the writer of the letter is... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Gaveston responds to the letter with delight, declaring his intention to rejoin Edward II immediately and comparing himself to Leander, who in Greek myth swam across the Hellespont... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
After the poor men leave, Gaveston explains why they will not suit his purposes: Edward loves poetry and music, and Gaveston hopes to surround him with artists and performers in... (full context)
Language and Violence Theme Icon
Gaveston is again interrupted, this time by the arrival of Edward and several nobles: Lancaster, Warwick, Mortimer Senior, Mortimer Junior, and Kent. Edward is attempting to... (full context)
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
Edward and the nobles continue to argue, with the King threatening the nobles and openly stating... (full context)
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With the nobles gone, Edward complains about the their attempts to “overrule” him and orders Kent to raise his military... (full context)
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Over the protestations of both Kent and Gaveston himself, Edward makes the latter Earl of Cornwall, Lord High Chamberlain, and Chief Secretary. Edward explains that... (full context)
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 sight of Gaveston, and Edward warns... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
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...as Mortimer calls him, the  “Frenchman”). Lancaster and Warwick also explain the new titles that Edward has conferred on Gaveston, and how haughty and powerful Gaveston has become as a result.... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
...is going. Despairingly, she responds that she is going “to the forest,” because her husband Edward has lost all interest in her, instead “dot[ing] upon the love of Gaveston.” Mortimer Senior... (full context)
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
...to return to court, promising that the nobility will see Gaveston banished and even depose Edward if necessary. The Bishop of Canterbury, however, warns the nobles not to rebel against their... (full context)
Language and Violence Theme Icon
...the men leave, Isabella again pleads with Mortimer Junior not to go to war with Edward. Mortimer promises not to, but only if “words will serve.” (full context)
Act 1, Scene 4
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...Gaveston's exile. Mortimer Junior is especially hopeful that the addition of his name will intimidate Edward. (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
Kent, Gaveston, and Edward enter. As he seats himself on his throne, Edward taunts the nobles by placing Gaveston... (full context)
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Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
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Enraged, Edward threatens to kill the nobles if they leave with Gaveston. Mortimer Senior says that it... (full context)
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Mortimer Junior and Warwick continue to defend the justice of their actions, but Edward refuses to speak to them. At this point, the Bishop of Canterbury intervenes and, urging... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Edward, realizing that his options are limited, appears to agree, but then invites the nobles to... (full context)
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Language and Violence Theme Icon
Now alone, Edward laments that he—a king—must defer to the Pope. He grows angrier as he speaks, threatening... (full context)
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Gaveston appears, saying that he has heard rumors he is to be exiled. Edward confirms his suspicions, but consoles Gaveston with the fact that his departure will allow Edward... (full context)
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Edward urges Gaveston to act as Governor of Ireland until he can return. The two men... (full context)
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Kent and Isabella appear, and the Queen asks where Edward is going. Edward rebukes her for bothering him and calls her a “strumpet.” Isabella questions... (full context)
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Edward, Gaveston, and Kent leave, and Isabella—now alone—imagines all the ways she might have been spared... (full context)
Language and Violence Theme Icon
...Pembroke, Mortimer Senior, and Mortimer Junior enter and witness Isabella's distress. The nobles speculate that Edward must have been cruel to her and blame her suffering on Gaveston. Eventually, Mortimer Junior... (full context)
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Language and Violence Theme Icon
...other nobles do not wish to see Gaveston dead, Mortimer Junior explains his reasoning. With Edward's financial support, Gaveston might be able to find allies in Ireland, making it that much... (full context)
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Isabella notices Edward returning from seeing Gaveston off, and looks forward to cheering him up with the news... (full context)
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Isabella reminds Edward of the nobles, who are now kneeling before him. Edward addresses Lancaster first, urging him... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Edward instructs the Clerk of the Court and Lord Beaumont to fetch Gaveston from exile in... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
...Junior that he will soon be leaving for Scotland, and urges his nephew to let Edward have his way in his absence. He further explains that the “wisest men” and “mightiest... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
...they should serve now. Spencer rejects Mortimer on the grounds that he is feuding with Edward II, and proposes seeking out the Earl of Cornwall (i.e. Gaveston) instead. In fact, Spencer... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
...banter, and the two men listen as she reads aloud from letters from Gaveston and Edward: Gaveston's declares his intention to remain true to her at any cost, and the King's... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Language and Violence Theme Icon
Edward, Isabella, Lancaster, Mortimer Junior, Warwick, Pembroke, and Kent are waiting for Gaveston's arrival. The King... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
...bark a canker creeps me up / And gets unto the highest bough of all.” Edward then asks what Lancaster's device will be, and Lancaster describes a flying fish being captured... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
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...an aside to the other nobles, Mortimer Junior worries that Gaveston's presence will just deepen Edward's fervor. At that very moment, however, Gaveston arrives. The two share a joyful reunion, with... (full context)
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
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...rash actions. Mortimer, unrepentant, implies that his only regret is that he didn’t kill Gaveston. Edward responds by sending both Mortimer Junior and Lancaster away from court. Edward further implies that... (full context)
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...the need for Gaveston's death. They further feel that there is no point talking with Edward further; as Lancaster says, the King “means to make [them] stoop by force of arms.”... (full context)
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...Mortimer Junior that his uncle, Mortimer Senior, is being held for ransom. Mortimer feels that Edward should pay this money, since Mortimer Senior was fighting on his behalf when he was... (full context)
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...guard arrives just as Mortimer Junior is hinting darkly at what he will do if Edward does not agree to his demands that his uncle be ransomed. The guard attempts to... (full context)
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Edward begins to complain about the behavior of Lancaster and Mortimer Junior, but the nobles cut... (full context)
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...resolving to sell the Mortimer castle for ransom money and then “purchase more” by force. Edward, enraged, says he will no longer be held back by fear of the nobles, but... (full context)
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Edward notices Isabella, whom he describes as the cause of all his problems. Isabella reports the... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
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Edward and Gaveston discuss what to do about Mortimer Junior now that he is openly threatening... (full context)
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Turning back to Lady Margaret, Edward tells her that she and Gaveston will be married today, in part as a demonstration... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...native land” has compelled him to join forces with them. Lancaster and Warwick suspect that Edward has sent Kent as a spy, but Mortimer Junior trusts in Kent's honor, and the... (full context)
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Lancaster explains that Gaveston and Edward are “frolicking” in Tynemouth, and the nobles resolve to attack the castle, with Mortimer Junior... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fighting is already underway as the scene opens and Edward frantically questions Spencer Junior as to Gaveston's whereabouts. Just then, however, he catches sight of... (full context)
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Lancaster, Warwick, and Mortimer Junior burst in. They are searching for Edward, and Mortimer interrupts Isabella's lament about her efforts to win her husband's affections to ask... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
...her to either stay in place or go with him, but Isabella declines, saying that Edward already suspects her of adultery. Once the nobles have left, however, Isabella's loyalty to her... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 5
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
...Lancaster respond with threats of death, and accuse Gaveston of causing civil unrest by “corrupting” Edward. Lancaster, in fact, compares Gaveston to “the Greekish strumpet” (i.e. Helen) whose love affair started... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
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...is pursuing them. Gaveston desperately urges Pembroke's men to hurry so that he can see Edward, but it is too late; Warwick arrives and demands that they hand Gaveston over, claiming... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
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Edward waits anxiously with Spencer Junior and Baldock. He knows that he cannot save Gaveston's life,... (full context)
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...Junior's father, arrives and announces that he has brought a company of soldiers to defend Edward's “royal right.” Edward responds by making him Earl of Wiltshire, promising him money to “outbid”... (full context)
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Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
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Spencer Junior notices Isabella approaching with Prince Edward and Levune, a messenger from France. Edward II asks Isabella for news, and she explains... (full context)
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
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As Isabella, Prince Edward, and Levune leave, Maltravers arrives. He is alone, and reports that Gaveston is dead. Edward... (full context)
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Edward kneels, swearing by heaven, his lineage, and his status as king to be revenged on... (full context)
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Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
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Spencer Junior remarks that a herald has arrived from the nobles. The herald greets Edward and reports that the nobles want the King to dismiss “This Spencer, as a putrefying... (full context)
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Edward angrily sends the herald away, saying the noble have no right to dictate the King's... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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A huge battle is underway as the scene opens, culminating in the retreat of Edward's forces. Edward questions this decision, saying he intends to “pour vengeance” on everyone who is... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...Lancaster, Warwick, and Pembroke appear, and the two sides exchange boasts and insults. Lancaster says Edward's followers will betray him, “traitors as they are.” Spencer Junior throws the charge of treason... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
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As trumpets sound, Edward, Spencer Senior, Spencer Junior, Baldock, and Levune appear, and they have a number of nobles... (full context)
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Kent argues that the nobles killed Gaveston for the good of both the country and Edward himself, and Edward sends him away. He then disputes the idea that the nobles acted... (full context)
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...“England, unkind to thy nobility, / Groan for this grief, behold how thou art maimed.” Edward gives orders for Mortimer's imprisonment, and the latter is taken away under guard, complaining that... (full context)
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...Isabella: he suspects that she and the English nobility have been plotting to make Prince Edward king. Levune agrees, and Spencer urges him to leave as soon as possible (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
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...preparing to join Isabella in France, where he will back up the Queen's claims about Edward's behavior. He appears somewhat conflicted about betraying his brother, asking “nature” to “yield to [his]... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
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In France, Isabella speaks to Prince Edward. She laments that the French king and nobles have failed to support her. The Prince... (full context)
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...John, a nobleman from modern-day Belgium, enters and greets Isabella. He invites her and Prince Edward to come with him to his home in Hainault, where they can “shake of all... (full context)
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
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...he is "reserved for better hap," and has escaped in order to help crown Prince Edward the king of England. This upsets the Prince but pleases Isabella, though she hastens to... (full context)
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...to Hainault, where they will be able to raise both money and an army. Prince Edward predicts that Edward II will nevertheless defeat them, and Isabella scolds him for discouraging their... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
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Back in England, Edward celebrates both his military victory and the fact that he has gotten his own way... (full context)
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...Mortimer Junior to raise an army. The news of Mortimer's escape and Kent's betrayal angers Edward, and he sarcastically “welcomes” both them and Isabella to England so he can meet them... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
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Isabella, Mortimer Junior, Kent, Prince Edward, and Sir John arrive in England. Isabella laments the necessity of civil wars that force... (full context)
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...if she wants to be a “warrior.” He then briefly states their loyalty to Prince Edward and reiterates that their purpose in fighting is to restore order to the country. Sir... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
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Battle is once more underway, and Edward's forces are in disarray. Spencer Junior urges the King to flee to Ireland, but Edward... (full context)
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Kent appears in search of Edward, whom he now regrets turning against. Condemning the rebellion against his king and brother, he... (full context)
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Isabella, Mortimer Junior, Prince Edward, and Sir John now appear as well. Isabella appoints Prince Edward viceroy and rejoices in... (full context)
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Kent asks Isabella what she intends to do with Edward II, and Mortimer Junior grows irritated, saying that that is a matter for Parliament to... (full context)
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...Rhys ap Howell presents Spencer Senior, who has been taken prisoner, to Isabella and Prince Edward. He also explains that Spencer Junior and Baldock have fled with Edward II to Ireland—news... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 6
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Edward II, Baldock, and Spencer Junior have disguised themselves and taken refuge in a monastery. The... (full context)
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...bad weather thwarted their voyage to Ireland, leaving them vulnerable to Mortimer Junior. At this, Edward exclaims, “Who wounds me with the name of Mortimer, / That bloody man?” and kneels... (full context)
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Suddenly, Spencer Junior urges Edward to look up: Rhys ap Howell and the Earl of Leicester have discovered them, thanks... (full context)
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Leicester, in an aside, speaks pityingly of Edward and quotes a Latin proverb about the precariousness of power. Aloud, however, he arrests Spencer... (full context)
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Edward laments his fate and questions why the stars have "lour[ed] unkindly on a king" before... (full context)
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Rhys ap Howell informs Edward that he “must go to Kenilworth,” which causes Edward to take issue with his use... (full context)
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Spencer Junior and Baldock mourn their parting with Edward, likening him both to the sun and to their own “souls.” Baldock concludes that there... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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Edward has now arrived at Kenilworth, which Leicester urges him to imagine is his court. Edward,... (full context)
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The Bishop of Winchester, who has also come to Kenilworth, responds to Edward's question by arguing that they “crave the crown” for the sake of England and Prince... (full context)
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Leicester presses Edward for a response, and Edward takes off his crown, remarking that while it is hard... (full context)
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...who has come to Kenilworth with Winchester, says that they need a definite answer from Edward about whether he will give up the crown. Edward responds that Mortimer Junior and the... (full context)
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Edward orders the Bishop of Winchester and Trussel away, but hands them a handkerchief—”wet with [his]... (full context)
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Before the Bishop of Winchester and Trussel can leave, another messenger—Berkeley—arrives. Edward expects that Berkeley has come to kill him, which he now looks forward to. Berkeley... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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At court, Mortimer Junior rejoices in the execution of Edward's supporters as well as at the imprisonment of the “light-brained King.” He urges Isabella to... (full context)
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...followed shortly afterward by the Bishop of Winchester. Isabella feigns distress at the news of Edward's unhappiness, but sends for Prince Edward when she sees the king's crown. The Bishop further... (full context)
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...a message dismissing Berkeley. He then gives Gourney detailed instructions on how to deal with Edward, telling him not only to move him from place to place to thwart Kent's plans,... (full context)
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...leaves, and Mortimer Junior tells Isabella in an aside to keep up her pretense: Prince Edward and Kent have just walked in the room. The two of them continue to speak... (full context)
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The conversation turns to Prince Edward and the Protectorship: Kent denies aspiring to the position, while the Prince himself begs not... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
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Maltravers and Gourney, carrying torches, hurry Edward toward Kenilworth as the latter asks where they are taking him. Wearily, Edward wonders whether... (full context)
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Edward calls on God to bear witness to Maltravers and Gourney's treatment of “their liege and... (full context)
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...Gourney and Maltravers's soldiers eventually succeed in seizing Kent to take him away to “court”—though Edward protests that the true court is wherever he, as king, is. Ignoring this, Gourney and... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
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Speaking aloud to himself, Mortimer Junior decides that only Edward's death will ensure his own safety. He fears reprisal from Prince Edward, however, so the... (full context)
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Mortimer Junior calls Lightborne in, and the two discuss the plans for Edward's murder. Lightborne scoffs at the idea that he will pity the King, and assures Mortimer... (full context)
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...and Mortimer Junior takes stock of his position, which allows him to control both Prince Edward and Isabella. Gloatingly, he remarks that everyone at court fears him and hurries to do... (full context)
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Trumpets sound, and Prince Edward enters, accompanied by Isabella, the Bishop of Canterbury, and a group of nobles. The Bishop... (full context)
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As soon as Edward III is crowned, a group of soldiers bring Kent forward for judgment. When questioned, Kent... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 5
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At Berkeley, Gourney and Maltravers marvel at the fact that Edward has not yet died, despite being kept in a wet and dirty cell. They therefore... (full context)
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...gave him, and—in asides—Gourney and Maltravers discuss the fact that Lightborne is there to murder Edward and then be killed himself. Maltravers accordingly gives Lightborne the keys to Edward's cell, and... (full context)
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Now alone, Lightborne finds Edward, who suspects that Lightborne is there to kill him. Lighborne denies this, saying Isabella has... (full context)
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Lightborne, claiming to be moved, urges Edward to lie down on the feather bed. Edward is still suspicious, even when Lightborne once... (full context)
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Maltravers and Gourney hold Edward down while Lightborne kills him with the spit. Fearing that Edward's screams will have been... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 6
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Maltravers informs Mortimer Junior that both Edward and Lightborne are dead. However, he also reveals that Gourney has fled and may betray... (full context)
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Isabella enters in distress, explaining that Edward III knows about Edward II's death and suspects her and Mortimer Junior of ordering it.... (full context)
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Hailing Mortimer Junior as a “villain,” Edward III says he knows that Mortimer murdered Edward II and intends to have him executed.... (full context)
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Mortimer Junior challenges Edward III to provide evidence, at which point Edward III produces the letter ordering Edward II's... (full context)
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Isabella continues to plead with Edward III, begging him to spare Mortimer Junior's life. Edward, however, takes his mother’s pleading as... (full context)
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Isabella is escorted to prison as a lord returns with Mortimer Junior's head. Edward III then asks his attendants to prepare Edward II's hearse, and as he waits for... (full context)