Shakespeare - Richard II


Published on

You can view this and other Shakespeare PowerPoints online at:

Published in: Education
1 Comment
1 Like
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Shakespeare - Richard II

  1. 1. “…let us SIT upon the GROUND and tell SAD STORIES of the DEATH of KINGS…”
  2. 2.  The Play  King Richard the Second is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written in approximately 1595.  It is based on the life of King Richard II of England (ruled 1377–1399) and is the first part of a tetralogy, referred to by some scholars as the Henriad, followed by three plays concerning Richard's successors: Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; and Henry V. It may not have been written as a stand-alone work.  Although the First Folio (1623) edition of Shakespeare's works lists the play as a history play, the earlier Quarto edition of 1597 calls it The tragedie of King Richard the second.
  3. 3.  Main Characters  King Richard II  John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster – Richard's uncle  Duke of York – Richard's uncle  Duke of Aumerle – York's son  Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk  Queen – Richard's wife  Duchess of York – York's wife  Duchess of Gloucester – widow of Duke of Gloucester, uncle to the king
  4. 4.  The Rebels  Henry Bolingbroke – Duke of Hereford, son of John of Gaunt, later King Henry IV  Earl of Northumberland  Henry 'Hotspur' Percy – Northumberland's son  Lord Ross  Lord Willoughby  Lord Fitzwater  Sir Piers Exton
  5. 5.  The Story  The first Act begins with King Richard sitting majestically on his throne in full state. We learn that Henry Bolingbroke, is having a dispute with Thomas Mowbray, and they both want the king to act as judge.  The subject of the quarrel is Bolingbroke's accusation that Mowbray had squandered monies given to him by Richard for the King's soldiers.  Bolingbroke also accuses Mowbray of the recent murder of the Duke of Gloucester, although John of Gaunt believes that Richard himself was responsible for the murder. [video]  After several attempts to calm both men, Richard agrees and Bolingbroke and Mowbray challenge each other to a duel, over the objections of both Richard and Gaunt.
  6. 6.  Richard’s First Error  Richard interrupts the duel at the very beginning and sentences both men to banishment from England. Bolingbroke has to leave for six years, whereas Mowbray is banished forever.  The king's decision can be seen as the first mistake in a series that will lead eventually to his overthrow and death. Indeed, Mowbray predicts that the king will fall sooner or later.
  7. 7.  The Second Error  John of Gaunt dies and Richard II seizes all of his land and money.  This angers the nobility, who accuse Richard of wasting England's money, of taking Gaunt's money to fund a war with Ireland, of taxing the commoners, and of fining the nobles for crimes their ancestors committed.
  8. 8.  His Enemies Move  While Richard is gone to lead a war in Ireland, his enemies secretly bring back the exiled Bolingbroke, who raises an army against the King, and also crowns himself King Henry IV.  When King Richard II returns to England, he is cast into prison, where he is later murdered by the ambitious Exeter.
  9. 9.  Richard’s Fatal Flaw  Richard II would appear to have all the advantages over Bolingbroke. He is the rightful king during a time when kings were thought to rule by divine right.  However, Richard is ill-suited to the throne. He has no sense of justice, as can be seen when he seizes Gaunt's lands and disinherits Gaunt's son Bolingbroke.  The medieval social order rested in part on the correct, legal transmission of titles and property. When Richard violates this, he disrupts the social order.  He appears to have no concept of the general welfare. He makes policy to suit himself, and he does not have the gift of surrounding himself with wise advisors.  As shown in the first Act, Richard is mainly concerned with raising money for a war in Ireland. But when he is faced with a crisis, Richard becomes weak and passive. He can only act decisively when everything is going in his favor.  Faced with the threat from Bolingbroke, he goes to pieces, as far as taking effective action is concerned. All he can do to impose his will on events is to summon up in words the full majesty of his status as king.  He assumes that everyone will submit to him simply because of his royal status. When this does not happen, he is powerless.
  10. 10.  Quotes "This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle, This earth of majesty, seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-Paradise." John of Gaunt's speech on England. Act 2, scene 1, line 40-42 O but they say the tongues of dying men Enforce attention like deep harmony, Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain, For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain. John of Gaunt’s speech. Act 2, scene 1, line 5-8 "Not all the water in the rough rude sea Can wash the balm from an anointed king; The breath of worldly men cannot depose The deputy elected by the Lord." Richard II on the sacred nature of kingship. Act 3, scene 2, lines 54-57 "Of comfort no man speak: Let's talk of graves, of worms, of epitaphs; Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth. Let's choose executors, and talk of wills." Richard when he realizes that defeat is inevitable. Act 3, scene 2, lines 144-48 "See, see, King Richard doth himself appear, As doth the blushing discontented sun From out the fiery portals of the east. Act 3, scene 3, lines 62-64 "Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricots, Which, like unruly children, make their sire Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight." The gardener instructing his assistant. Act 3, scene 4, lines 29- 31
  11. 11.  More Quotes “…let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of the death of kings; How some have been deposed; some slain in war, Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed; Some poison'd by their wives: some sleeping kill'd; All murder'd: for within the hollow crown That rounds the mortal temples of a king Keeps Death his court…” Richard when he realizes that defeat is inevitable. Act 3, scene 2 Now this golden crown, like a deep well That owes two buckets, filling one another, The emptier ever dancing in the air, …That bucket down and full of tears am I, Drinking my griefs whilst you mount up on high. King Richard, Act 4 scene 1, lines 184-189 "As in a theatre, the eyes of men, After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage, Are idly bent on him that enters next, Thinking his prattle to be tedious." York describes the reaction of the crowd in London to the sight of the deposed Richard. Act 5, scene 2, lines 23-26 "I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world." Richard's thoughts when he is imprisoned in Pomfret Castle. Act 5, scene 5, lines 1-2 "You may my glories and my state depose, But not my griefs; still I am king of those." Richard in the abdication scene. Act 4, scene 1, lines 192-93 "That were some love but little policy." Northumberland's reply to the queen's request that she and Richard be sent into exile together. Act 5, scene 1, line 84
  12. 12.  Shakespeare’s Histories  The Shakespeare histories dramatize the Hundred Years War with France and therefore comprises the Henry Tetralogy, Richard II, Richard III and King John – many of which feature the same characters at different ages.  In writing the history plays, Shakespeare was not attempting to render a historically accurate picture of the past. Rather, he was writing for the entertainment of his theater audience and therefore molded historical events to suit their prejudices.  The history plays say more about Shakespeare’s time than the Medieval society in which they are set. For example, Shakespeare cast King Henry V as an everyman hero to exploit the growing sense of patriotism in England. His depiction of this character is not necessarily historically accurate.  Shakespeare’s history plays offer a view of society that cuts right across the class system. These plays present us with all kinds of characters from lowly-beggars to the monarchy. In fact, it is not uncommon for characters from both ends of the social strata to play scenes together. Most memorable is Henry V and Falstaff who turn up in a number of the history plays.
  13. 13.  Richard II on Film  Richard II was first filmed in 1950 for a TV movie, and has since received over twenty film and TV adaptions.  In 2012, BBC television adapted it as part of their Henriad entitled “The Hollow Crown”
  14. 14. A Nutsy the Squirrel Production Copyright 2013 Oak Hills Media Center All Rights Reserved.