Richard II And Richard II Comparison

Decent Essays

In the play King Richard II by Shakespeare, the two characters King Richard II (Richard) and Gaunt can be portrayed as extremely different characters from a superficial lens. When the two characters are analyzed using two poetic devices, it is revealed that they have extreme similarities that relate to their true selves. In both 2.1.93-138-139 and 5.5.106-107 of the play, it is revealed that Gaunt and Richard individually express pent up behavior that because they are both close to reaching death in those moments. Textual evidence justifies the argument that Gaunt and Richard use death as an excuse to act out of their normal character, thus solidifying themes of true self. The theme of true self in this play can be applied as when a …show more content…

With this textual evidence, it can be shown that Gaunt is revealing his true self as he does not typically behave in this way. Moreover, it can be argued that death reveals this true self because with death being expected, Gaunt reveals his last words- his most true words. Richard exemplifies the theme of true self in the last moments of his life in prison. It can be argued that while Richard is in the prison, he is expecting his own death and is starting to come to terms with the end of his life. In Richard’s last moments of life, he expresses to the Keeper, “Villain, thy own hand yields death’s instrument. / Go thou and fill another room in hell” (Oxford 921). As similar to Gaunt’s commending, Richard’s statement reveals two poetic devices that help understand the theme of true self. Richard’s use of the keeper’s own weapon to kill the keeper symbolizes a form of strength and power that Richard did not utilize in the past while he was King. Arguing that Richard is aware of his death as a deposed King as soon as The Keeper and Exton arrive, sparks the notion that Richard uses the weapon to express his anger and rage one last time before death. The symbolism of the sword as a representation of power further solidifies the idea that Richard’s awareness of death bring out his true self of rage and regret. Death has the ability to prompt Richard to be how he truly is because there are very repercussions for a dying man. A second poetic

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