Shakespeare's history, The Tempest, from your trusted Shakespeare source. Please see the bottom of this page for helpful Richard II resources. A short summary of William Shakespeare's Richard II. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Richard II. Visit this William Shakespeare site including information about his famous play Richard II. Educational resource for the William Shakespeare play Richard II with.


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In Richard II besides the usual blank verse unrhymed pentameters there are long stretches of heroic couplets pairs of rhymed pentameters.

The plot | Richard II | Royal Shakespeare Company

The play contains a number of memorable metaphors, including the extended comparison of England with a garden in Act III, Scene iv and of william shakespeare richard ii reigning king to a lion or to the sun in Act IV. The language of Richard II is more eloquent than that of the earlier history plays, and serves to set the tone william shakespeare richard ii themes of the play.

Shakespeare uses lengthy verses, metaphors, similesand soliloquies to reflect Richard's character as a man who likes to analyse situations rather than act upon them.

He always speaks in tropes using analogies such as the sun as a symbol of his kingly status. Richard places great emphasis on symbols which govern his behaviour. His crown william shakespeare richard ii as a symbol of william shakespeare richard ii royal power and is of more concern to him than his actual kingly duties.

The historical parallels in the succession of Richard II may not have been intended as political comment on the contemporary situation, [11] with the weak Richard II analogous to Queen Elizabeth and an implicit argument in favour of her replacement by a monarch capable of creating a stable dynasty, but lawyers investigating John Hayward 's historical work, The First Part of the Life and Raigne of King Henrie IV, a book previously believed to have taken from Shakespeare's Richard II, chose to make this connection.

Samuel Schoenbaum contests that Hayward had written his work prior to Richard II, william shakespeare richard ii that "there is nothing like a hypothetical manuscript to resolve an awkwardness of chronology", as Hayward noted he had written the work several years before its publication.

That Hayward had made his dedication was fortunate for Shakespeare, otherwise he too might have lost his liberty over the affair.

Richard II the play by William Shakespeare

On 7 Februaryjust before the uprising, supporters of the Earl of Essex, among them Charles and Joscelyn Percy younger brothers of the Earl of Northumberlandpaid for a performance at the Globe Theatre on the eve of their armed rebellion. By this agreement, reported at the trial of Essex by the William shakespeare richard ii Men actor Augustine Phillipsthe conspirators paid the company forty shillings "above the ordinary" i.

Elizabeth was aware of the political ramifications of the story of Richard II: At any rate, the Chamberlain's Men do not appear to have suffered for their association with the Essex group; but they were commanded to perform it for the Queen on Shrove Tuesday inthe day before Essex's execution.

The body natural is a mortal body, subject to all the weaknesses of mortal human beings. On the other hand, william shakespeare richard ii body politic is a spiritual body which cannot be affected by mortal infirmities such as disease and old age. These two bodies form one indivisible unit, with the body politic superior to the body natural.

At the coast of Wales, Richard has just returned from a trip to Ireland and kisses the soil of England, demonstrating his kingly attachment to his kingdom.

This image of william shakespeare richard ii gradually fades as Bolingbroke's rebellion continues.

Richard II

Richard starts to forget his kingly nature as his mind becomes occupied by the rebellion. This change is portrayed in the scene at Flint Castle during which the unity william shakespeare richard ii the two bodies disintegrates and the king starts to use more poetic and symbolic language.


Richard's body politic has been shaken as his followers have joined Bolingbroke's army, diminishing Richard's military capacity. He has been forced to give up his jewels, losing his kingly appearance.

He loses his temper at Bolingbroke, but then regains his composure as he starts to remember his divine side. At Flint castle, Richard is determined to hang onto his kingship even though the title no longer fits his appearance. Eighteen unauthorised versions of his plays were, however, published during his lifetime in quarto editions by unscrupulous publishers there were no copyright laws protecting Shakespeare and his works during the Elizabethan era.

Some dates are therefore approximate other dates are substantiated by historical events, records of performances and the dates plays appeared in print.

In the Elizabethan era there was a huge demand for new entertainment and Richard II would have been produced immediately followed the completion of the play and performed prior to the first recorded production.

Date first printed It is william shakespeare richard ii that Richard II was first printed in As William Shakespeare clearly did not want his work published details of the play william shakespeare richard ii have therefore been noted, and often pirated without his consent, following a performance.

He reigned between and Most william shakespeare richard ii characters in Richard II The most important characters in the play are: Details of these famous quotes follow, complete with information regarding the Act and the Scene, allowing a quick reference to the section of the play that these quotations can be found in.