Richard II | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Richard II | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about William Shakespeare's Richard II. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

richard-II-william-shakespeareor Gods sake, let us sit upon the groundAnd tell sad stories of the death of kings.Richard II, Act III, Scene IISources: Biography.com, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Royal Shakespeare Company, ShakespeareOnline.comCopyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc.PerformanceRichard II excels at playing king but is not good at being king.Family TiesPolitics, blood, and faith clash as a kings kin vie for power.Rightful KingIf God chooses kings, then a usurper will never be the rightful ruler.ThemesRichards loyal uncle; one of the last of Richards supporters to join Bolingbrokes armyDuke of YorkBolingbrokes elderly father; criticizes Richard and swears allegiance to EnglandJohn of GauntPractical, bold, ruthless usurper of the throne; man of action in contrast to Richard IIHenry BolingbrokeIncompetent, weak king; enjoys the theatricality of kingship and is a man of words over actionRichard IIMain CharactersShakespeare based many of his plays on historical events. Richard II—the first of four plays in the Henriad, which also includes Henry IV, Part 1; Henry IV, Part 2; and Henry Vtells of the rise of Englands royal house of Lancaster. Richard II is known for its sweeping metaphors and poetic language.WIlLLIAM SHAKESPEARE15641616AuthorBolingbroke forces Richard to cede the throne and becomes King Henry IV.Act V: OverthrowBolingbroke returns to claim the inheritance Richard took from him.Acts III & IV: ChallengeHenry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray battle, and Richard II banishes them both.Acts I & II: BanishmentKing Richard IIs increasingly poor decisions erode his support, despite the widespread belief that he—like all kingswas divinely appointed. As his cousin Henry Bolingbroke gains popularity and power, Richard faces a harsh reality and is forced to confront his own humanity.On Whose Head Shall Rest the Hollow Crown?OVERVIEWEnglishOriginal Language1595–96Years WrittenWilliam ShakespeareAuthorRichard IIHistoryPlay

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