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Richard II

William Shakespeare

Contents

Act I, scene iv

page 2 of 2

Act I, scene iv

Page 1

Page 2

Act I, scene iv

Act I, scene iv

Act I, scene iv

Richard's callousness in the remainder of the scene also demonstrates to us his inherent weaknesses as a ruler. His plan to go overseas to Ireland while taxing the English and renting out English land shows us a typical Shakespearean flaw in kings: a willingness to ignore one's duty to the country in favor of one's personal interests. A king who focuses on anything other than the government of his kingdom--be it foreign affairs, scholarship, worldly pleasures, or his own self-aggrandizement--is bound to be overthrown. Richard clearly should not be leaving England at such a turbulent time, but his eagerness to wage war in Ireland and his astounding blindness to the precariousness of his position cause him to depart. Leaving for foreign shores will be his final downfall--by the time Richard returns, he will already have effectively lost England to Bolingbroke.

Finally, Richard's callous remarks about John of Gaunt's illness indicate his lack of respect for anyone besides himself--including the elders of his own family. This self-centeredness will help lead to his downfall.

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Blog Post: Richard II

by DanMitchell23, January 09, 2013

I've recently read Richard II for my University course, here are my thoughts!

http://inbetweenthelines1.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/shakespeare-play-richard-ii/

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4 out of 4 people found this helpful

Too Much of a Good Thing for King Richard to Keep

by ReadingShakespearefor450th, February 26, 2013

I just finished King Richard II as part of goal to read all of Shakespeare by his 450th birthday.

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2 out of 7 people found this helpful

Who killed Richard?

by SallyMcC, November 15, 2013

I've recently seen an RSC production of Richard II and noticed that instead of being killed by Lord Exton Richard was instead killed by Rutland. Can anyone think of explanation for this? I was thinking that the actor playing Exton may have been incapable of playing the part on that night so the actor playing Rutland took over, but there was a clear recognition between the two after the murder so surely another actor would have played the part if this was the case?

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6 out of 8 people found this helpful

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