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Christopher Marlowe's play, Edward II as a tragedy

Christopher Marlowe's play, Edward II as a tragedy

Christopher Marlowe's play, Edward II as a tragedy

Q. Consider Marlowe's play, Edward II as a tragedy

Answer: Marlowe's play "Edward II" can indeed be considered a tragedy. Tragedies typically involve a protagonist who possesses admirable qualities but is ultimately brought down by a tragic flaw or external circumstances. In "Edward II," the eponymous character, King Edward II of England, fits this description.

The play portrays Edward II's downfall from a powerful king to a tragic figure. One of the key tragic elements in the play is Edward's excessive infatuation with his favorite, Piers Gaveston, which leads to his neglect of his duties as king and alienation from his nobles. This flaw of prioritizing personal desires over his responsibilities contributes to his tragic downfall.

Edward's relationship with Gaveston creates a rift between him and his barons, who are infuriated by Gaveston's influence and the favoritism he receives. The barons' opposition eventually leads to a rebellion against Edward, symbolizing the clash between personal desire and political duty. Edward's inability to effectively manage the political challenges exacerbates the tragic elements of the play.

Moreover, the character of Isabella, Edward's neglected queen, plays a pivotal role in the tragedy. She is driven to seek revenge and ultimately becomes instrumental in Edward's deposition and imprisonment. The betrayal of his queen further intensifies Edward's tragic fate.

The play features dramatic and violent events, including battles, political intrigue, and internal conflicts, all leading to Edward's tragic end. Marlowe presents Edward II's downfall in a manner that evokes sympathy for the protagonist, despite his flaws, which is a characteristic feature of a tragedy.

In summary, "Edward II" by Christopher Marlowe exhibits several elements of a tragedy. The play portrays a flawed protagonist, Edward II, whose excessive personal desires and neglect of his responsibilities as a king lead to his tragic downfall. The conflicts, betrayals, and violent events depicted in the play contribute to its tragic nature, making it a notable tragedy in English literature.


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