"My Large Kingdom For A Little Grave"

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Last Updated on July 28, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 156

Context: Bolingbroke, in revolt against King Richard II, has sent Northumberland to speak to the king and tell him that Bolingbroke does not want the crown. All he wants is that his banishment be lifted and all the lands that the crown took from his father be returned. In his weakness, Richard does as Bolingbroke requires. But he bitterly denounces himself for having had to grant these demands. When Northumberland returns to Richard after all of Bolingbroke's demands have been met, Richard asks what else he must do, and bitterly itemizes the things he will do.

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RICHARD
I'll give my jewels for a set of beads;
My gorgeous palace for a hermitage;
My gay apparel for an almsman's gown;
My figured goblets for a dish of wood;
My sceptre for a palmer's walking staff;
My subjects for a pair of carved saints,
And my large kingdom for a little grave,
A little, little grave, an obscure grave. . . .

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