Coghlan, early nineteenth century The play spans only the last two years of Richard's life, from to The first Act begins with King Richard sitting majestically on his throne in full state, having been requested to arbitrate a dispute between Thomas Mowbray and Richard's cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, later Henry IVwho has accused Mowbray of squandering money given to him by Richard for the king's soldiers and of murdering Bolingbroke's uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. Bolingbroke's father, John of Gaunt1st Duke of Lancaster, meanwhile, believes it was Richard himself who was responsible for his brother's murder. After several attempts to calm both men, Richard acquiesces and it is determined that the matter be resolved in the established method of trial by battle between Bolingbroke and Mowbray, despite the objections of Gaunt.
After several attempts to calm both men, Richard acquiesces and it is determined that the matter be resolved in the established method of trial by battle between Bolingbroke and Mowbray, despite the objections of Gaunt.
The tournament scene is very formal with a long, ceremonial introduction, but as the combatants are about to fight, Richard interrupts and sentences both to banishment from England. Mowbray predicts that the king will sooner or later fall at the hands of Bolingbroke. John of Gaunt dies and Richard II seizes all of his land and money.
There remain, however, subjects who continue faithful to the king, among them Bushy, Bagot, Green and the Duke of Aumerle son of the Duke of Yorkcousin of both Richard and Bolingbroke. When King Richard leaves England to attend to the war in Ireland, Bolingbroke seizes the opportunity to assemble an army and invades the north coast of England.
Executing both Bushy and Green, he wins over the Duke of York, whom Richard has left in charge of his government in his absence. This play, which exists in one incomplete manuscript copy at the British Museum is subtitled Thomas of Woodstockand it is by this name that scholars since F.
Boas have usually called it. This closeness, along with the anonymity of the manuscript, has led certain scholars to attribute all or part of the play to Shakespeare, though many critics view this play as a secondary influence on Shakespeare, not as his work.
The second and third quartos followed in — the only time a Shakespeare play was printed in three editions in two years. Q4 followed inand Q5 in The play was next published in the First Folio in The title page from the quarto edition of the play.
Richard II exists in a number of variations. The quartos vary to some degree from one another, and the folio presents further differences. The fourth quarto, published inincludes a version of the deposition scene shorter than the one later printed, presumably from a prompt-bookin the First Folio.
The scant evidence makes explaining these differences largely conjectural. There is no external evidence for this hypothesis, however, and the title page of the quarto refers to a "lately acted" deposition scene although, again, this could be due to earlier censorship which was later relaxed.
Analysis and criticism[ edit ] Structure and language[ edit ] The play is divided into five acts and its structure is as formal as its language.
The normal structure of Shakespearean tragedy is modified to portray a central political theme: Bolingbroke on the other hand represents a more modern view of the throne, arguing that not only bloodline but also intellect and political savvy contribute to the makings of a good king.
It thus contains no prose.
There are also great differences in the use of language amongst the characters. Traditionally, Shakespeare uses prose to distinguish social classes — the upper class generally speaks in poetry while the lower classes speak in prose. In Richard II, where there is no prose, Richard uses flowery, metaphorical language in his speeches whereas Bolingbroke, who is also of the noble class, uses a more plain and direct language.
In Richard II besides the usual blank verse unrhymed pentameters there are long stretches of heroic couplets pairs of rhymed pentameters. The play contains a number of memorable metaphors, including the extended comparison of England with a garden in Act III, Scene iv and of its reigning king to a lion or to the sun in Act IV.
The language of Richard II is more eloquent than that of the earlier history plays, and serves to set the tone and themes of the play. He always speaks in tropes using analogies such as the sun as a symbol of his kingly status.
Richard places great emphasis on symbols which govern his behaviour.
His crown serves as a symbol of his royal power and is of more concern to him than his actual kingly duties. Samuel Schoenbaum contests that Hayward had written his work prior to Richard II, joking that "there is nothing like a hypothetical manuscript to resolve an awkwardness of chronology", as Hayward noted he had written the work several years before its publication.
That Hayward had made his dedication was fortunate for Shakespeare, otherwise he too might have lost his liberty over the affair. On 7 Februaryjust before the uprising, supporters of the Earl of Essex, among them Charles and Joscelyn Percy younger brothers of the Earl of Northumberlandpaid for a performance at the Globe Theatre on the eve of their armed rebellion.
Elizabeth was aware of the political ramifications of the story of Richard II: The body natural is a mortal body, subject to all the weaknesses of mortal human beings.
On the other hand, the body politic is a spiritual body which cannot be affected by mortal infirmities such as disease and old age. These two bodies form one indivisible unit, with the body politic superior to the body natural. At the coast of Wales, Richard has just returned from a trip to Ireland and kisses the soil of England, demonstrating his kingly attachment to his kingdom.Shakespeare’s play draws upon sources that make a point of Richard’s appearance: for example, Thomas More’s History of King Richard III, written between and , describes Richard as ‘little of stature, ill-featured of limbs, crook-backed, his left shoulder much .
Richard II by William Shakespeare. Home / Literature / Richard II / Characters / King Richard II. BACK; NEXT ; Character Analysis God's Gift to the World? Kantorowicz says that at the beginning of the play, Richard is a perfect example of the theory that a king has two bodies. But when he loses his title and is forced to give up his.
Richard II is the king of England at the start of the play. He inherited his crown from Edward III, his grandfather, and he is John of Gaunt ’s nephew and Henry Bolingbroke ’s cousin.
In one sense, the play can be seen as the story of Richard’s downfall. Richard agrees to his demands. Richard's cousin, the Duke of Aumerle, is accused of murdering the Duke of Gloucester.
|Shakespeare's plays - Wikipedia||Thirteenth century Danish castle that is the site of the main action of the play. Elsinore is a real city in modern Denmark, where it is known as Helsingor in Danish.|
|Keep Exploring Britannica||He first manages to turn Edward against the Duke of Clarence, who is imprisoned in the Tower on the charge of treason.|
Bolingbroke arrests everyone involved in the allegations. Richard agrees to abdicate. Bolingbroke announces his coronation.
The Character of Richard III. An excerpt from Richard leslutinsduphoenix.com York: University Society Press, The character of Richard the Third, which had been opened in so masterly a manner in the Concluding Part of Henry the Sixth, is, in this play, developed in all its horrible grandeur. Richard joins the other members of the hostile factions in solemnly vowing in the presence of the dying Edward to hold the peace. The remorseful king learns that Clarence has been put to death before he himself dies. As a king, Richard is supposedly divine and all powerful; as a man, he is an ordinary mortal and prey to his own weaknesses. The private tragedy of the play, for Richard, is in his being forced to face this duality. Shakespeare demonstrates that Richard is perhaps temperamentally not fit for the.
Plotting. A plot is hatched to restore Richard to the throne. Richard is Duke of Gloucester, and, man, is he unhappy about it. He tells us that his brother Edward has become the king of England after a series of long civil wars (a.k.a. the Wars of the Roses) between his people (the Yorks) and the Lancasters.
Despite the happy news about King Edward and his family's victory, Richard is bummed and feels inadequate because 1) he was born a "deformed" hunchback . Richard III: Kean, Edmund; Booth, Junius Brutus A discussion of the transatlantic rivalry between Edmund Kean and Junius Brutus Booth as interpreters of .