• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Richard II' by William Shakespeare

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Richard II' by William Shakespeare During the course of the play, the audience is encouraged to feel different emotions for Richard and Bolingbroke. Their weaknesses are exposed, but Shakespeare also highlights areas where sympathy can be attached. In the first scene of the play, it becomes clear that Richard is out of his depth and has no idea of how he should be acting as king. During the confrontation between Mowbray and Bolingbroke surrounding Gloucester's death, Richard offers: "impartial are our eyes and ears.....Should nothing privilege him (Bolingbroke), nor partialize / The unstooping firmness of my upright soul." However, Richard is not impartial, as he reduces Bolingbroke's period of exile at the drop of a hat at Coventry, whilst Mowbray is banished for life. This shows Richard's general weakness in his position as king, supported by his cronies, desperate for his praise. At the duel Richard again shows his bias towards Bolingbroke. ...read more.

Middle

Despite being seen as the 'good guy' in the first two acts, Bolingbroke also comes in for condemnation. At the start of Act 3, he has Bushy and Green "dispatched" by Northumberland, simply because they are "Near to the King in blood, and near in love" . This is a harsh, brutal side to Bolingbroke that has not been seen before, but becomes more apparent throughout the rest of the play. An interesting contrast appears in Bolingbroke as soon as Bushy and Green leave. The word 'dispatched' is used in its normal sense again by York (Bolingbroke's uncle), whom Bolingbroke is desperate to please after York had recently announced "I am no traitor's uncle". Bolingbroke is also guilty of having an ulterior motive for returning to England. If he was genuinely coming back to make sure he received his inheritance, than he wouldn't have needed to murder Bushey and Green. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, this may have added to his selfish attitude, thinking that there was no-one good enough to replace him on the throne. He is married to his French wife, and they have a very emotional seen through the streets of London as he is lead to the Tower. This would surely provoke sympathy from the audience, compared to the cold calculated Bolingbroke, who is hell-bent on seeking revenge for being robbed of his inheritance. The audience will understand more with a married character, rather than someone so driven and focused on one prize to miss out on settling down with a family. Finally, if Richard's army of Welshmen (Act II Sc. iv) had not left on a tip off that the king was dead, then they would have easily overpowered Bolingbroke's small force. This evokes sympathy from the audience, as they will all know what it is like to be so tantalisingly close to something, but still see it slip through their fingers. ?? ?? ?? ?? Patrick Cullinan 10Q ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Richard II section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Richard II essays

  1. Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Kingship in Richard II

    This continues the portrayal of Bolingbroke as a hero and develops England as an organic entity, which is a recurrent theme throughout. Finally, when Gaunt states the King is "basely led by flatterers" he indicates his antipathy of Richard's reliance upon flattery.

  2. To What Extent Is Shakespeare's Richard II A Stereotypical Villain

    "Weak piping time of peace" suggests he does not feel that the end of the war will keep peace in the country for long and that the monarchy is as unstable now as ever before. It is unusual for villains to be doubtful with their place in the world and

  1. RICHARD II KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS SETTING Richard II is located in ...

    She is either ignored or patronized by her husband and spends her time with courtiers, like Bushy and Green, whose tasks are to give her bad news and to comfort her when she grieves. In real life, Richard's queen was a child of nine.

  2. Divine Right of Kings Implied in the Bishop of Carlisle's Speech in Richard II

    The bishop continues, proclaiming that Henry Bolingbroke "Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford's king" (136). Carlisle's declaration is obviously based upon the ideas of the doctrines of divine right and passive obedience. According to Bevington, the church asserted that God permits evil rulers to govern, "because God wishes to test a people or to punish them for waywardness" (723).

  1. The Tragedy of King Richard the second - In what ways do the speeches ...

    So, knowing about the belief about the 'Divine Rights of Kings' we can see why it is so important to Bolingbroke and Mowbray to carry out this battle. It is important to Mowbray because he has being accused of 'treason' which was thought to be equal to blasphemy, as going against the King is the same as going against God.

  2. Write about the dramatic methods used by Shakespeare to portray the character of Queen ...

    Shakespeare's staging of the next events have great significance in this scene, the passage begins when Queen Isabel has arrived for her final meeting with her husband, her first meeting with the deposed King. The entrance of Richard with a prison guard not only evokes pathos for Richard and displays

  1. "How far do you agree that we are moved to sympathy, even to admiration, ...

    Many readers do, however I personally find his conceits, or over-exaggerated metaphors, intensely irritating, and his self-pity only makes him seem weaker than ever. The critic Norman Carrington keenly observed that excepting the line "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me", Richard makes no reference to the fact

  2. How is Richard II portrayed in Act I?

    As we can see by his use of the royal ?We?(I/I/24) ?us?(I/I/24) and ?our?(I/I/84), by this he is referring to himself and God, which shows Richard?s arrogance and audacity, as he refers to himself with a heightened sense of authority.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work