The Troublesome Reign And Lamentable Death Of Edward The Second

by Christopher Marlowe
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"Dance An Antic Hay"

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Last Updated on July 17, 2016, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 128

Context: Gaveston, banished from court by old King Edward I because of his bad influence on his son, receives word from King Edward II, the new monarch and his friend, that the old king has died, that he has been crowned, and that he desires the immediate return of his favorite. Returning, Gaveston schemes to control the king by appealing to the weakness of his nature with "wanton poets," musicians, and players:

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Therefore I'll have Italian masks by night,
Sweet speeches, comedies, and pleasing shows.
And 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.
. . .
Such things as these best please his majesty,
My lord.

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