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What are the relationships between Richard II, Aumerle and Bolingbroke in "Richard II"?

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loislane5 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 16, 2009 at 6:19 PM via web

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What are the relationships between Richard II, Aumerle and Bolingbroke in "Richard II"?

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 24, 2009 at 4:22 AM (Answer #1)

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Richard, Aumerle, and Bolingbroke are all cousins. Have you seen the movie "Braveheart"? Do you remember the wimpy prince whose father was a mean and brutal king? That wimpy prince would end up being the grandfather of these three men. And that caused a problem. The mean old king in "Braveheart" had only one son, and he in turn had only one son. But that son, Edward III, had 8 sons, and most of them had sons of their own.

Richard II was son of Edward, called the Black Prince. Because he was the firstborn son, he would inherit the crown; however, he died when Richard was just a small boy. But that didn't keep Richard from becoming king. It did cause jealousy and resentment among the other males in the family.

Bolingbroke's father was the 4th son, John of Gaunt, who was also Duke of Lancaster. He thought Richard was a weak and ineffectual king and that he would be a better king himself.

Aumerle was the son of Edmund, Duke of York, the 5th son of this family. Aumerle and Bolingbroke will start the famous Wars of the Roses, so-called because the Lancasters were represented by the red rose and the Yorks by the white rose.

Whew! Wasn't it Richard II who said in this play, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown"? There's always someone else who thinks it would look better on his head.

See the links below for more information.

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