Edward II

by

Christopher Marlowe

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Prince Edward/Edward III Character Analysis

The son of Edward II and Isabella. Prince Edward is absent for the first half of the play, which makes sense given his young age: the real Edward III was fourteen at the time of his coronation, and multiple characters in Marlowe's play reference his youth. Nevertheless, Edward III proves surprisingly astute and competent in the play's final scenes, where he reveals his knowledge of Mortimer and Isabella's crimes before assuming the full responsibilities of his position as king. This suggests he will be a more effective ruler than his father was, although Edward III himself frames his execution of Mortimer and his imprisonment of Isabella as the restoration of Edward II's legacy.

Prince Edward/Edward III Quotes in Edward II

The Edward II quotes below are all either spoken by Prince Edward/Edward III or refer to Prince Edward/Edward III . 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 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:
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Edward II PDF

Prince Edward/Edward III Character Timeline in Edward II

The timeline below shows where the character Prince Edward/Edward III appears in Edward II. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 3, 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
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
Language and Violence Theme Icon
As Isabella, Prince Edward , and Levune leave, Maltravers arrives. He is alone, and reports that Gaveston is dead.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
...from 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 2
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
In France, Isabella speaks to Prince Edward . She laments that the French king and nobles have failed to support her. The... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Sir 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
Fortune and Tragedy Theme Icon
...that 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)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
...Isabella 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
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
...and Isabella to England so he can meet them in battle. He is saddened by Prince Edward's involvement, however, even as he prepares to go with his followers to Bristol where he... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Isabella, Mortimer Junior, Kent, Prince Edward , and Sir John arrive in England. Isabella laments the necessity of civil wars that... (full context)
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
...speech 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
Fortune and Tragedy Theme Icon
Isabella, Mortimer Junior, Prince Edward , and Sir John now appear as well. Isabella appoints Prince Edward viceroy and rejoices... (full context)
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...enter. 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... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
...Edward's question by arguing that they “crave the crown” for the sake of England and Prince Edward —not Mortimer Junior. Edward, however, suspects that Mortimer plans to take power himself and hopes... (full context)
Fear of the Other and Internal Discord Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
...Winchester leave. However, when Leicester warns Edward that his course of action could result in Prince Edward losing his rights to the throne, Edward changes his mind and asks Leicester to call... (full context)
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...away, but hands them a handkerchief—”wet with [his] tears”—to take to Isabella. He fears for Prince Edward's safety while his son is under Mortimer Junior's care, but hopes the Prince will prove... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
...of the “light-brained King.” He urges Isabella to “be ruled by [him]” and arrange for Prince Edward's coronation: he himself will then act as Protector. Isabella agrees that Mortimer can do anything... (full context)
Language and Violence Theme Icon
...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 explains that it’s been discovered that... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Gourney 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)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
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 4
Language and Violence Theme Icon
...Junior decides that only Edward's death will ensure his own safety. He fears reprisal from Prince Edward , however, so the message he writes ordering Edward's murder is deliberately ambiguous: it could... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
Fortune and Tragedy Theme Icon
...leaves, 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)
Language and Violence Theme Icon
Trumpets sound, and Prince Edward enters, accompanied by Isabella, the Bishop of Canterbury, and a group of nobles. The Bishop... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
As soon as Edward III is crowned, a group of soldiers bring Kent forward for judgment. When questioned, Kent admits... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 6
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Fortune and Tragedy Theme Icon
Isabella enters in distress, explaining that Edward III knows about Edward II's death and suspects her and Mortimer Junior of ordering it. Mortimer... (full context)
Language and Violence Theme Icon
Hailing Mortimer Junior as a “villain,” Edward III says he knows that Mortimer murdered Edward II and intends to have him executed. That... (full context)
Language and Violence Theme Icon
Fortune and Tragedy Theme Icon
Mortimer Junior challenges Edward III to provide evidence, at which point Edward III produces the letter ordering Edward II's murder.... (full context)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
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)
Sex, Lineage, and the Natural Order Theme Icon
Monarchy, Legitimacy, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Language and Violence Theme Icon
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 them... (full context)