Questions and Answers for Richard II

Richard II

Is Richard II a political play?

Richard II is political because it stages a struggle for political power. The main conflict is over who deserves to rule England: the hereditary monarch who is out of touch with his people, or his...

Latest answer posted June 14, 2018 9:01 am UTC

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Richard II

In Shakespeare's Richard II, what are the differences between Richard and Henry Bolingbroke?  

Shakespeare presents the two rivals as both being unfit to rule England, albeit for different reasons. Richard believes himself entitled to rule by divine right, that is to say chosen directly by...

Latest answer posted March 13, 2019 9:46 am UTC

2 educator answers

Richard II

Why is John of Gaunt's role important to the play Richard ll? In what way does he move or enhance the story?

Richard II is a play rich in character studies. The most investigated character, of course, is Richard, and the heart of the play is the study of the sort of king that Richard is. The question...

Latest answer posted December 7, 2010 7:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

How does Richard in Shakespeare's Richard II fit the category of an Aristotelian tragic hero?

To properly answer this question, we need to first establish what qualities Aristotle laid out as necessary for a tragic hero. We know already that most Elizabethan tragedy adhered closely to these...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2018 8:05 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Richard II

In the Garden Scene (Act III, Scene iv) in Richard II, how does Shakespeare use symbolism and metaphors?    

The most obvious use of symbolism and metaphors can be found in the conversation between the gardener and his servant, which the queen and her lady overhear. The gardener bids his servant to "bind...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2019 4:45 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Richard II

For the most part, women are kept on the sideline of action in Shakespeare's Richard II; discuss what roles these...

The women of Richard II might play small roles politically, but in the narrative, they show how treachery in the political arena affects individuals on a more human, emotional level. This can be...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2018 4:08 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Richard II

Shakespeare's Richard II is almost completely written in verse. What effect do you think this has? Discuss the...

Part of the answer to this has to do with thinking about the assumptions underlying the question. The phrasing suggests that you consider prose the "unmarked" or "normal" type of language for drama...

Latest answer posted June 9, 2017 10:58 am UTC

2 educator answers

Richard II

What would Machiavelli think of Richard? Of Bolingbroke? Which of his famous precepts from The Prince do you think...

Machiavelli would have a lot to say about King Richard. So many of the things that Machiavelli wrote about in The Prince, can apply to both men. First we will start with Richard. Richard thinks...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2014 7:52 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

What is the meaning of the line "Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes write sorrow on the bosom of the earth"...

Richard II is in a despairing mood. His arch-rival Bolingbroke has landed in England and is rapidly making his way across the country to the acclamation of the common people. To make matters worse,...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2019 9:03 am UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

What roles do the Duchess of York, Duchess of Gloucester, and Queen Isabel play in King Richard II?

The Duchess of Gloucester adds the richness of human emotion to the play. She becomes a widow when her husband dies, but their love is one based on love rather than necessity or politics, and she...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2010 12:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

To what extent do "Richard II" and "Macbeth" explore conflicting notions of manhood and manliness?

Both of these leaders are portrayed as ineffective in some way. Richard, although the rightful king, shows himself inconsistent and subject to coercion. Macbeth, not the rightful king, is in turn...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2008 9:35 am UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

What is the role of ceremony and ritual in Richard II?

Ceremony and ritual in Shakespeare's Richard II help readers or viewers of the play comprehend the changing of kings from Richard II to Bolingbroke, who becomes Henry IV in English history. When...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2019 5:23 pm UTC

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Richard II

How does Shakespeare present the court and courtiers in Richard II?

In the opening scene of Richard II, Shakespeare launches his audience into the middle of a charged argument between two prominent nobles: Henry Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray. The quarrel is...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2019 5:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

Discuss Richard II as a political play.

Richard II is most definitely a political play - When reading it, one must consider themes like the merits of keeping a bad ruler in office (the anointed king) and whether or not it's better for a...

Latest answer posted October 12, 2008 7:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

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

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...

Latest answer posted February 24, 2009 4:22 am UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

How does Shakespeare characterize Richard II using figurative language in his play Richard II?

Initially, Shakespeare characterizes Richard II through the address Bolingbroke and Mowbray make to him: MOWBRAYFirst, the fair reverence of your highness curbs meFrom giving reins and spurs to my...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2013 10:05 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

Where do we see the influence of the Reformation in this play?

This play is about the disturbing nature of historical change rather than the events themselves. Monarchs have always had to watch their backs for fear of ambitious family members who want to sit...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2008 1:06 am UTC

2 educator answers

Richard II

What points about important themes in Richard II, including but not necessarily exclusive to gender, is Shakespeare...

Women are typically vulnerable in Richard II, possessing little power of their own. The Duchess of Gloucester wants her husband's death avenged, but she must depend on the willingness of male...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2020 12:15 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

How are sexual aspects of life dealt with in Willam Shakespeare's Richard II?

Sexuality plays a far less explicit role in William Shakespeare`s Richard II than in many of his other plays. The roles of women are quite minor and there are no major romantic sub-plots to the...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2012 10:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

What are the source texts used by William Shakespeare when constructing Richard II?

Scholars pinpoint William Shakespeare's authorship of Richard II to either 1594 or 1595 at the earliest, since one of The Bard's primary sources was not listed in the Stationer's Register until...

Latest answer posted April 30, 2011 12:20 am UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

What would be the best method in writing an essay that analyzes the relationship between urban life and theatricality...

In writing an essay analyzing the relationship between the urban life during Shakespeare's day and the theatricality for which he is so renown, consideration should be given to a...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2014 12:13 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

In Act I, scene i of Richard II, what does "band" mean in the phrase "according to thy oath and band"? 

In Bevington's The Necessary Shakespeare, the word used instead is "bond." According to onlinedictionary (see link below), a band is "that which serves as the means of union or...

Latest answer posted December 1, 2007 3:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Richard II

How can I write an essay exploring the relationship between TWO forms of authority - royal, judicial, familial,...

[Please understand that the question was revised because Enotes editors do not compose essays; we are happy to advise students, however.] With Richard II, the question of the divine right of kings...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2014 6:01 am UTC

1 educator answer