Richard II | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Course Hero. (2017, June 1). Richard II Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 16, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Richard-II/

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Course Hero. "Richard II Study Guide." June 1, 2017. Accessed November 16, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Richard-II/.

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Course Hero, "Richard II Study Guide," June 1, 2017, accessed November 16, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Richard-II/.

Richard II | Act 5, Scene 4 | Summary

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Summary

Elsewhere in the palace, Sir Pierce of Exton talks to a servingman. He says he overheard Henry IV say "Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?" Exton assumes Henry IV meant Richard, and as an enthusiastic supporter of the new king, he wants to fulfill this wish. He decides to kill Richard.

Analysis

Henry IV does not specifically refer to Richard, and this may mean he is talking about something else entirely, and Exton just takes the wrong meaning. It is also possible—and quite likely—Henry IV does mean Richard and is hoping someone will do exactly what Exton does. He may be thinking back to Richard's hand in the murder of the Duke of Gloucester and trying to avoid getting his hands dirty in this way.

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