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"By close analysis of the language, form and structure of this extract, discuss the presentation of Richard's view of his situation."

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Introduction

Richard II Extract Based Question- Act III Scene iii lines 142-170 PLUS 176-183. "By close analysis of the language, form and structure of this extract, discuss the presentation of Richard's view of his situation." This poignant monologue from Richard is a series of thoughts which he speaks aloud as he ponders on what it to become of him. Richard is a king with extremes of emotion, and so a monologue from him is always full of poetic devices and ornamentation of language, as he conveys his emotions rather than facts. In this case, his violent change of mood leaves his desperate and depressed, as he begins to convince himself that Bolingbroke has usurped his throne once and for all, and Richard prepares to resign himself to either an existence of poverty and shame, or an untimely and undignified death. The repetition of the word "king" emphasises Richard's pride of his title, and his bitterness in losing it. ...read more.

Middle

Richard is exaggerating his situation in a moment of self-pity, showing his pessimistic attitude. He believes he is being forced into a lower-class existence. The fact that he does not use the royal "we" also shows that he is humbled by the situation. However, he is still obsessed by his right to call certain things his own; he is ever possessive and desperately clinging to what is rightfully his. Richard then proceeds to talk about death; "and my large kingdom for a little grave, a little, little grave, an obscure grave". This reference shows that Richard's view of his situation is utterly negative, and he now believes he is doomed to death as well as believing his throne has been snatched from him. This repetition shows his tendency to exaggerate situations. Not once has his death been suggested; in fact, Bolingbroke deliberately makes it clear that his motives in confronting Richard are peaceful, that he is only there to claim that which rightfully belonged to his father, John of Gaunt. ...read more.

Conclusion

Richard says this to make Aumerle laugh, showing the contrast as Aumerle finds humour in Richard's over-exaggeration, yet from what Richard has said previously, it seems that he believes his own words. Richard is also bitter and sarcastic in calling Bolingbroke "King", showing his firm belief that there is no other possible outcome. The speech is written in blank verse except for the last two lines which form a couplet. This adds to the memorability of the speech, and also shows Richard's macabre humour. In lines 178-183, Richard makes a classical reference to Phaethon, showing the depth of thought with which he has considered his predicament. The repetition of "down" conveys his ever-declining outlook, as he is now convinced he has lost all power. The final couplet, "Down court, down king, For night-owls screech where mounting larks should sing" shows how wrong Richard sees the situation as. The word "shriek" is also onomatopoeic and harsh, conveying Richard's mental torment. In conclusion, Richard's view is an entirely pessimistic one, full of self-pity as he sees no glimmer of hope for himself. ...read more.

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