RICHARD II – THE KING AND THE
Richard II (1367-1400), king of England,
grandson of Edward III and
son of the Black Prince, was born at Bordeux on Jan. 6, 1367. on the Black’s
Prince death in
1377, he became king. Though at first too young to rule, Richard in
skill in dealing with Wat Tyler’s Rebellion and from then onward began
showed extravagance, a difficult
temper, and a liking for favorites, especially the unpopular Robert de
Therefore in 1386, his uncle, Thomas of Gloucester, and the Lords
defeated and drove out the king’s supporters and installed a noble
In 1389 Richard threw off their tutelage and for eight
modestly and well. In 1397 he was strong enough for his revenge; the
the Lords Appellant were seized and tried as traitors, Gloucester was
murdered, Richard arundel was
executed and archbishop Thomas Arundel was banished, and in 1398 the
a quarrel was taken to exile Bolingbroke and norfolk.
Richard ruled with absolute authority until May 1399,
Bolingbroke landed in England.
The king was defeated, deposed by Parliament, and confined to Pontefract Castle,
where he died on February
14,1400, probably of starvation. Extravagant, violent and
revengeful, yet weak, a patron of literature and a lover of fine
king, Richard never succeeded in winning the affection of his subjects.
Richard II (c.1595), a play by Shakespeare. It is in many
the most original of Shakespeare’s early chronicle plays. Here he
the influence of Christofer Marlowe. In spite od the resemblance of the
the tragic fall of a weak king, to that of Marlowe’s Edward II,
play differs from his predecessor’s in structure, characterization, and
The action covers a shorter space of time and it’s more
lyric flow of the dialogue contrasts strongly with the declamation an
occasional direct dramatic expression of Marlowe. Most important of
Shakespeare’s characterization of his hero is a far more subtle study
Marlowe’s portrayal of his vacillating monarch.
The character of Richard, self-indulgent, self pitying,
and blind to
the actualities of life, is brought out by contrast with that of his
the hard realist, Bolingbroke. In the end Richard’s fall is due not so
outside forces as to a fatal flaw in his character, and in this
least, the play- foreshadows the later and greater tragedies.
Richard II had a special interest for Shakespeare’s
for Queen Elizabeth fancied thet she might be identified in the popular
with king Richard, and her censors struck out the deposition scene from
copis of the play. On the eve of the revolt of Essex
his supporters bribed Shakespeare’s company to revive the play with the
deposition scene included. For this act they were called before the
They managed to prove their innocence of ill intent and
indeed, invited to play at court on the day before Essez’s execution.