Act I Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What accusations does Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, bring against Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk?

2. How does King Richard decide to settle the conflict between Bolingbroke and Mowbray?

3. Who does John of Gaunt blame for the Duke of Gloucester’s murder?

4. Why does the Duchess of Gloucester revoke her invitation for her brother-in-law, the Duke of York, to visit her?

5. What signal does the King give to halt the combat between Bolingbroke and Mowbray before it begins?

6. What penalties does King Richard initially impose on Bolingbroke and Mowbray?

7. What oath does King Richard make Bolingbroke and Mowbray swear upon his sword?

8. Why does King Richard change the sentence he imposes on Bolingbroke, and what are the terms of his new sentence?

9. How do we know that Bolingbroke is popular among the common people?

10. What is King Richard’s response when he learns that John of Gaunt is seriously ill?

1. Bolingbroke accuses Mowbray of misappropriating funds intended for the King’s military forces in France. He also accuses Mowbray of plotting the Duke of Gloucester’s murder.

2. King Richard, after failing in his attempts to arbitrate the conflict between Bolingbroke and Mowbray, decrees that they will meet in man to man combat “At Coventry upon Saint Lambert’s Day.”...

(The entire section is 452 words.)

Act II Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does John of Gaunt hope that King Richard will visit him on his deathbed?

2. What possessions does King Richard seize after Gaunt dies?

3. Who does King Richard appoint Lord Governor of England in his absence?

4. What news does the Earl of Northumberland share with Lord Willoughby and Lord Ross?

5. Why has Bolingbroke delayed his arrival in England?

6. What reasons does the Queen give to explain her sadness?

7. What information does Sir Henry Green deliver to the Queen?

8. Whose death does the Servingman report to the Duke of York?

9. hat does the Duke of York tell Bolingbroke his official position will be in Bolingbroke’s conflict with King Richard?

10. hat omens have made the Welsh Captain believe that King Richard is dead?

1. John of Gaunt hopes that King Richard will visit him on his deathbed so that he might “breathe my last/ In wholesome counsel” to the King. Although Richard has, in the past, paid little heed to his advice, Gaunt believes that he will pay attention to the words of a dying man.

2. After Gaunt dies, King Richard seizes his “plate, his goods, his money, and his lands.”

3. King Richard appoints his uncle, the Duke of York, as Lord Governor of England.

4. The Earl of Northumberland tells Willoughby and Ross that Bolingbroke,...

(The entire section is 430 words.)

Act III Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Which two characters does Bolingbroke order to be executed?

2. What reasons does Bolingbroke give for these executions?

3. Why does King Richard believe that Bolingbroke’s rebellion will fail?

4. Where does Richard resolve to seek refuge from Boling¬broke’s forces?

5. Who shares Richard’s refuge?

6. What does Bolingbroke claim as his purpose in confronting the King with his army?

7. What does King Richard anticipate if he submits to Boling¬broke?

8. What is Bolingbroke’s first response when the King comes down from the walls of the castle?

9. What diversions does the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting suggest to cheer her spirits?

10. What herb does the Gardener promise to plant at the spot where one of the Queen’s tears fell?

1. Bolingbroke orders the executions of Bushy and Green.

2. Bolingbroke asserts that Bushy and Green have misled the King and caused a breach between the King and Queen. He also claims that they made the King misinterpret him and subsequently pillaged his estate.

3. Richard maintains that Bolingbroke’s rebellion will fail because he is king by divine right. He comments that “Not all the water in the rough rude sea/ Can wash the balm off from an annointed king;/ The breath of worldly men cannot depose/ The deputy elected by the Lord.”

4. King Richard decides to seek refuge from Bolingbroke’s forces at Flint Castle in Wales.

5. The King is accompanied to Flint Castle by the Duke of Aumerle, the Earl of Salisbury, Sir Stephen Scroop, and the Bishop of Carlisle.

6. Bolingbroke claims that he will swear “allegiance and true faith of heart” to the King and lay at his feet his “arms and power” if the King will repeal his banishment and restore his lands.

7. King Richard anticipates that if he submits to Bolingbroke he will be deposed and reduced to the status of a commoner. He also anticipates his own death and burial in “an obscure grave.”

8. When King Richard comes down from the walls of Flint Castle, Bolingbroke commands his nobles and soldiers to “show fair duty to his Majesty.” He kneels before Richard and addresses him as “My gracious Lord.”

9. The Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting suggests lawn bowling, dancing, and storytelling; she also volunteers to sing.

10. The Gardener promises to plant a bed of rue, the herb of sorrow, at the spot where one of the Queen’s tears fell.

Act IV Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What charges does Sir William Bagot bring against the Duke of Aumerle?

2. Which noblemen support Bagot’s charges?

3. Who defends Aumerle against the accusations that are made?

4. What does the Bishop of Carlisle predict if Bolingbroke is crowned as King Henry IV?

5. What is the Earl of Northumberland’s response to the Bishop of Carlisle’s prophecy?

6. What does the Duke of York tell Richard when he asks why Bolingbroke has sent for him?

7. What object does King Richard request after his abdication and what does he do with this object?

8. Where does Bolingbroke order that Richard is to be held as prisoner?

9. When does Bolingbroke announce that his coronation will take place?

10. Who instigates a plot against the new king?

1. Bagot accuses the Duke of Aumerle of plotting the Duke of Gloucester’s murder. He also accuses Aumerle of swearing he would refuse the offer of a hundred thousand crowns rather than see Bolingbroke’s return to England, and he claims Aumerle had declared that England would be “blest” if Bolingbroke died in exile.

2. Lord Fitzwater, Harry Percy, and an unnamed Lord support Bagot’s accusations.

3. The Duke of Surrey defends Aumerle.

4. The Bishop of Carlisle prophesies civil war and bloodshed for generations to come if Bolingbroke is crowned.

5. The Earl of Northumberland orders the Bishop of Carlisle’s arrest for high treason.

6. York tells King Richard that he has been summoned before Bolingbroke and the Parliament “To do that office of thine own good will,/ Which tired majesty did make thee
offer:/ The resignation of thy state and crown/ To Henry Bolingbroke.”

7. King Richard requests a mirror after his abdication. After gazing at his reflection, he hurls the mirror to the ground, shattering it into “a hundred shivers.”

8. Bolingbroke commands that Richard is to be held prisoner in the Tower of London.

9. Bolingbroke decrees that his coronation as King Henry IV will take place the next Wednesday.

10. The Abbot of Westminster instigates a plot against King Henry IV.

Act V Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Where does King Richard urge his Queen to make her future home?

2. Where does King Henry IV send Richard to be imprisoned after changing his mind about sending him to the Tower of London?

3. What humiliations does the Duke of York tell his wife that King Richard suffered as he was led into London?

4. What information is contained in the letter the Duke of York seizes from his son?

5. What do the Duke and Duchess of York urge King Henry to do with their son, the Duke of Aumerle?

6. What duties did the Groom perform at one time for King Richard?

7. Why does the Keeper refuse to taste King Richard’s food?

8. Who murders King Richard?

9. What sentence does King Henry pronounce upon the Bishop of Carlisle?

10. What does King Henry plan to do to absolve his guilt about the murder of Richard II?

1. King Richard tells the Queen to seek refuge in a convent in France.

2. King Henry revokes his order sending Richard to the Tower of London and decides to send him instead to imprisonment at Pomfret Castle.

3. The Duke of York tells his wife that King Richard, as he was being led through the streets of London, had dust and rubbish thrown on his head. York also tells his wife that Bolingbroke was cheered by the crowd, while “no joyful tongue” gave Richard “his welcome home.”

4. The letter that the Duke of York seizes from his son contains information about a plot against King Henry’s life and the names of the conspirators.

5. The Duke of York urges King Henry to forget his promise of a pardon and to deal harshly with his son. The Duchess begs the King to be merciful.

6. The Groom tended and dressed the King’s horses.

7. The Keeper refuses to taste King Richard’s food as he had in the past because he has been told not to do so by Sir Pierce of Exton.

8. Sir Pierce of Exton murders King Richard.

9. King Henry commands that the Bishop of Carlisle live out his life at a remote religious retreat, far removed from the politics of the court.

10. King Henry plans a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to absolve his guilt about King Richard’s murder.