Artboard Created with Sketch. Close Search Dialog

  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 5

Original Text

Modern Text


115A lunatic lean-witted fool,
Presuming on an ague’s privilege,
Darest with thy frozen admonition
Make pale our cheek, chasing the royal blood
With fury from his native residence.
120Now, by my seat’s right royal majesty,
Wert thou not brother to great Edward’s son,
This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head
Should run thy head from thy unreverent shoulders.


You idiot, taking advantage of your illness as an opportunity to criticize me. How dare you anger and embarrass me so much that my face has gone pale. If you weren’t my uncle—that is, the uncle to the King of England—that wild tongue of yours would fall from the head that sits on your disobedient shoulders.


O, spare me not, my brother Edward’s son,
125For that I was his father Edward’s son;
That blood already, like the pelican,
Hast thou tapp’d out and drunkenly caroused:
My brother Gloucester, plain well-meaning soul,
Whom fair befal in heaven ’mongst happy souls!
130May be a precedent and witness good
That thou respect’st not spilling Edward’s blood:
Join with the present sickness that I have;
And thy unkindness be like crooked age,
To crop at once a too long wither’d flower.
135Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
These words hereafter thy tormentors be!
Convey me to my bed, then to my grave:
Love they to live that love and honour have.


Don’t do me any favors because I’m your uncle. You have never before hesitated to spill our family’s royal blood. My good and simple brother Gloucester, who had royal blood and is happily in heaven now, is someone you weren’t afraid to kill. Like a dead flower, your wicked behavior must be plucked immediately. You have lived a bad life, but you must change your ways before you die. May my words torment you always! (to his assistants) Take me to my bed, and then let me die. Let only those who are honorable and loving live happily.

Richard II: Popular pages