Edward II Analysis

Places Discussed (Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

*London

*London. Center of English political power and of King Edward’s monarchy. Several locations within London are settings for important scenes, including the royal palace, the new temple (a center of legal authority), and the Tower of London, the traditional place of detention for important political prisoners. The first scene of the play is set on a London street and the last at the royal palace.

*Paris

*Paris. Capital of the French monarchy and home of Edward II’s queen Isabella, sister of the French king. It is in Paris that Isabella meets Kent and the younger Mortimer, with whom she plans to invade England and make war against her husband.

*Neath Abbey

*Neath Abbey. Church in Glamorganshire, Wales, where King Edward is arrested by his enemies after failing to escape to Ireland. Edward II was born in Carnarvon Castle in Wales and was England’s first Prince of Wales.

*Berkeley Castle

*Berkeley Castle (BAHRK-lee). Castle in Gloucestershire that is the place of Edward’s final incarceration and murder.

Edward II Historical Context

The Reigns of Edward I & II
The historical Edward I (1239-1307) was an effective king, although he made excessive demands on...

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Edward II Literary Style

Blank Verse
Blank verse, unrhymed lines with a measured rhythm, was not invented by Christopher Marlowe, but he is credited with...

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Edward II Compare and Contrast

14th century: Homosexuality was a fairly common practice in the upper-classes and among courtiers. However, sodomy was officially...

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Edward II Topics for Further Study

What consequences should there be for a sovereign who abandons his duties for personal pleasures?

Contrast the rise and fall of...

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Edward II Media Adaptations

British director Derek Jarman produced a film called Edward II in the United Kingdom in 1991 (it is available on VHS video). Jarman...

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Edward II What Do I Read Next?

William Shakespeare's play Richard II depicts another deposed king who laments his loss of status and power. Written just one year...

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Edward II Bibliography and Further Reading

Further Reading
Bredbeck, Gregory W. Sodomy and Interpretation: Marlowe to Milton, Cornell University Press, 1991....

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Edward II Bibliography (Great Characters in Literature)

Levin, Harry. The Overachiever: A Study of Christopher Marlowe. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1952. Discusses how in Marlowe’s plays men’s passions ultimately betray them. Asserts that whereas Shakespeare deals with the well-being of the state, Marlowe focuses upon individual tragedies.

Marlowe, Christopher. Edward the Second. Edited by Charles R. Forker. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1994. Contains an excellent 136-page introduction. Considers the relationship between Edward II and Shakespeare’s histories.

Ribner, Irving. The English History Play in the...

(The entire section is 205 words.)