Edward II is a highly stylized screen adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's 14th century drama. Steven Waddington plays the English king who loses all when he begins a blatant love affair with his friend Gaveston (Andrew Tiernan). The betrayed Queen Isabella (Tilda Swinton) and a self-righteous baron (Nigel Terry) unite in a campaign to bring Edward II down.

Director Derek Jarman uses sets, production design, costumes, and music to make the point that even today English society prosecutes gay people in the name of moral indignation.