"Eating The Bitter Bread Of Banishment"

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Last Updated on July 28, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 145

Context: Despite his banishment for six years by order of Richard II, Henry of Lancaster, known as Bolingbroke, returns to invade England while the king is in Ireland. Bolingbroke is joined by many former friends. Before Bristol Castle, Bushy and Green, servants to Richard, are brought in prisoners. Henry accuses them of having "misled a Prince, a royal King" and of having made the king misunderstand Bolingbroke. For these injustices he has "stooped my neck under your injuries." He further outlines his injuries:

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BOLINGBROKE
. . .
Myself a prince, by fortune of my birth,
Near to the King in blood, and near in love,
Till you did make him misinterpret me,
Have stooped my neck under your injuries,
And sighed my English breath in foreign clouds,
Eating the bitter bread of banishment,
Whilst you have fed upon my signories,
Disparked my parks, and felled my forest woods,
. . .

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