William Shakespeare 's Richard II

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Samantha Van Dine Richard Spacek ENGL 3250 September 24, 2015 Richard II, William Shakespeare Richard II is a play written by William Shakespeare in the closing stages of the 16th Century. It is based on Richard II and his scheme of taking the throne of England. Richard II is a carefully balanced play, characterized by precise and formal arrangements of characters and actions. This balance is enhanced by various parallel incidents which are included in the themes, plots, and the nature of the characters in the play. It would therefore be important to focus on these incidents to get a clear understanding of their functions. Shakespeare brings out the first case of parallel incidents through the attitudes of Richard II and Henry…show more content…
It is believed that Henry got these qualities from their grandfather Edward III. Richard II is evil, he confiscates Gaunt’s property to fund war, banishes Henry and Mowbray from the country, refuses to take advice regarding ruling his country and he is ignorant as he thinks the people will always protect him as he is a ‘gift’ from God. On the other side, Henry is a man of few words and more actions, his ideas about kingship are new fresh and realistic. This is a show of parallelism as the character who does not deserve to be king takes the throne while the one with the right qualities is out in the cold leading a rebellion. Shakespeare also uses the power of communication and the power of actions to draw parallelism in the text. Richard II believes that strength is found in words. As a king, his words are truly powerful, through his words; he was able to order the killing of his uncle, the king of Gloucester. His belief on words leads him into trouble when he finds out that Henry and his army has invaded England. Instead of gathering his army for war, he literally sits down on the ground and says he wants to tell some sad stories about old kings. On the other hand, Henry Bolingbroke is a man of action. He believes that actions are much stronger than words; a philosophy he used throughout the play. He is even quoted saying: "for what I speak, my body shall make good upon this earth” (Shakespeare 1960). This
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