Berkeley: My Lord of Hereford, my message is to you.
Bolingbroke: My lord, my answer is—to “Lancaster”;
And I am come to seek that name in England.
And I must find that title in your tongue
Before I make reply to aught you say.
(Act 2, scene 3, lines 72–76)

When Bolingbroke returns to England and approaches Berkeley Castle, Lord Berkeley greets him as “my Lord of Hereford.” Bolingbroke is quick to correct Berkeley, asking him to call him “Lancaster.” With the recent death of his father, John of Gaunt, Bolingbroke should no longer be addressed by his old title, the Duke of Hereford. Instead, he should inherit his father’s rank as the Duke of Lancaster. Although Richard has chosen not to honor this inheritance, Bolingbroke insists on his right to the higher title. His demand that others recognize him by this name will ultimately lead him to earn the highest title of all: king.

Aumerle: Comfort, my liege. Remember who you are.
Richard: I had forgot myself. Am I not king?
Awake, thou coward majesty, thou sleepest!
Is not the King’s name twenty thousand names?
Arm, arm, my name!
(Act 3, scene 2, lines 83–87)

This exchange takes place about halfway through the scene where Richard comes to realize that Bolingbroke has successfully outmaneuvered him. The scene begins with Richard arriving back on British soil and saluting the land, still assured of his power. He quickly finds out that the Welsh army that had been waiting to aid him in his fight disbanded the day before his arrival. Immediately after learning this information, Aumerle advises the king, “Remember who you are.” Though briefly shaken by the news, Richard collects himself and remembers that he, and not Bolingbroke, is king. And what, he asks, is “the King’s name” if not the amalgamation of “twenty thousand names?” Still clinging to the idea that his name, as King Richard, entitles him to absolute power, Richard retains his sense of identity. But as the play goes on, this sense of identity will rapidly dissolve.

                    Alack the heavy day,
That I have worn so many winters out
And know not now what name to call myself.
(Act 4, scene 1, lines 268–70)

Richard speaks these words near the end of the climactic scene where he is officially deposed. Once Bolingbroke has literally taken the crown from him, Richard suffers an identity crisis. No longer king, he claims not to know what to call himself. Shall he persist in calling himself King Richard, or should he resort to the less dignified, earlier version of himself: Richard of Bordeaux? Profoundly shaken, Richard goes on to ask for a mirror so that he might examine his features and see if they still reflect the man he thinks himself to be.