The Complex Character of King Richard II Essays

3454 Words14 Pages
The Complex Character of King Richard II A general conclusion of most critics is that Richard II is a play about the deposition of a "weak and effeminate" king. That he was a weak king, will be conceded. That he was an inferior person, will not. The insight to Richard's character and motivation is to view him as a person consistently acting his way through life. Richard was a man who held great love for show and ceremony. This idiosyncrasy certainly led him to make decisions as king that were poor, and in effect an inept ruler. If not for this defect in character, Richard could be viewed as a witty, intelligent person, albeit ill-suited for his inherited occupation. Immediately the reader is shown the adoration of ceremony and…show more content…
If that is the truth than Richard is missing an opportunity to have Mowbray permanently silenced, so as not to have a witness to implicate himself. Though his decision to wish for no violence could be commendable. Richard is truly a man fit for the medieval period, this being proved in the tournament he has Bolingbroke and Mowbray participate in. The scene starts with trumpets sounding and the king flourishing in; Bolingbroke and Mowbray are suited in armor. Richard begins the ceremony (for that's what it truly is) with formalities. "Marshal ask yonder knight in arms / Both who he is and why he cometh hither" (I.iii.28-29). Certainly this is redundant and reminiscent of modern-day courtroom behavior. But again there is a sense that Richard is resplendent in these royal formalities. He is the director and lead actor in his mind. Richard is creative, as not only his poetry demonstrates but also in his ability to bring to life his ceremonious ideals. "He enjoys playing king, delights in his caprious adjucation of the encounter between two peers...He knows that he is king by divine right...in a world permanently ordered by traditional loyalties..." (Cubeta 7). It is in this scene that we witness the weakness of a king but the strength of a man. Richard stops the fight from happening, again with great ceremony. "Withdraw with us; and let the trumpets sound" (I.iii.130).
Open Document