Richard II | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Richard II | Characters

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Character Description
Richard II Richard II is a weak and impractical man, but the kingship is his by right of inheritance. Read More
Henry Bolingbroke Bold and practical, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford—who later becomes Duke of Lancaster and then King Henry IV—is a man of action whose plain and direct ways propel him toward the throne. Read More
John of Gaunt John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, is Richard II's uncle and Bolingbroke's father; he gradually realizes the king is damaging England with his poor leadership. Read More
Duke of York Edmund, Duke of York, is another of Richard II's uncles; he is loyal to Richard until it seems inevitable Bolingbroke will take the throne. Read More
Abbot of Westminster The Abbot of Westminster is loyal to Richard and is executed for plotting against Henry IV.
Sir John Bagot Sir John Bagot is one of Richard II's closest advisers.
Bishop of Carlisle The Bishop of Carlisle supports Richard II and defends the divine right of kings.
Sir John Bushy Sir John Bushy is one of Richard II's closest advisers.
Duchess of Gloucester The Duchess of Gloucester wants her brother-in-law, John of Gaunt, to avenge the death of her husband, the Duke of Gloucester, who is killed before the play begins.
Duchess of York The Duchess of York, the Duke of Aumerle's mother, pleads with Henry IV on her son's behalf.
Duke of Aumerle The Duke of Aumerle, also Earl of Rutland, is the son of the Duke and Duchess of York, and is loyal to Richard, his cousin; he plots against Henry IV.
Duke of Surrey The Duke of Surrey is loyal to Richard and is executed for plotting against Henry IV.
Earl of Northumberland The Earl of Northumberland, Henry Percy, is Harry Percy's father and strongly supports Henry Bolingbroke.
Earl of Salisbury The Earl of Salisbury is loyal to Richard and is executed for plotting against Henry IV.
First herald The first herald is an official at Bolingbroke and Mowbray's trial by combat.
Gardener The gardener has opinions about politics.
Sir Henry Green Sir Henry Green is one of Richard II's closest advisers.
Groom The groom cares for the horses in Richard's stables.
Keeper The keeper is a guard at Pomfret Castle prison, where the deposed Richard is sent.
Lord Berkeley Lord Berkeley is a noble loyal to Richard.
Lord Fitzwater Lord Fitzwater is a noble who claims he heard the Duke of Aumerle say he was responsible for the Duke of Gloucester's death.
Lord Marshal Lord Marshal is an official at Bolingbroke and Mowbray's trial by combat.
Lord Ross Lord Ross is a noble who allies with Bolingbroke.
Lord Willoughby Lord Willoughby is a noble who allies with Bolingbroke.
Thomas Mowbray Thomas Mowbray, the Duke of Norfolk, is at least partly responsible for the Duke of Gloucester's death; after Bolingbroke accuses him, the two meet for a trial by combat, but Richard II stops the fight and banishes both Mowbray and Bolingbroke.
Harry Percy Harry Percy is the son of the Duke of Northumberland.
Sir Pierce of Exton Sir Pierce of Exton is a nobleman loyal to Henry IV who murders Richard while the deposed king is in prison.
Sir Stephen Scroop Sir Stephen Scroop is loyal to Richard and tells him Bolingbroke has returned from banishment.
Queen Queen Isabel—whose first name is not mentioned in the play—is Richard II's wife; she asks to be sent to prison with her deposed husband.
Second herald The second herald is an official at Bolingbroke and Mowbray's trial by combat.
Welsh captain The Welsh captain is a leader of Richard's soldiers in Wales.
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