Richard II

ISBN-10: 0812969308

ISBN-13: 9780812969306

Edition: N/A

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This moving and eloquent historical drama depicts the conflict between a willful and arrogant poet of a king, Richard II, and his politically pragmatic cousin, Bolingbroke. Rich with memorable scenes and speeches, this lyrical history moves from a splendid medieval tournament to the poignant surrender of a crown; from the queen's heart-shattering farewell to her king to Richard's murdera deed "chronicled in hell" that lives forever as one of the great moments in theater. From the Paperback edition.
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Book details

List price: $6.99
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/14/2010
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616 Although there are many myths and mysteries surrounding William Shakespeare, a great deal is actually known about his life. He was born in Stratford-Upon-Avon, son of John Shakespeare, a prosperous merchant and local politician and Mary Arden, who had the wealth to send their oldest son to Stratford Grammar School. At 18, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, the 27-year-old daughter of a local farmer, and they had their first daughter six months later. He probably developed an interest in theatre by watching plays performed by traveling players in Stratford while still in his youth. Some time before 1592, he left his family to take up residence in London, where he began acting and writing plays and poetry. By 1594 Shakespeare had become a member and part owner of an acting company called The Lord Chamberlain's Men, where he soon became the company's principal playwright. His plays enjoyed great popularity and high critical acclaim in the newly built Globe Theatre. It was through his popularity that the troupe gained the attention of the new king, James I, who appointed them the King's Players in 1603. Before retiring to Stratford in 1613, after the Globe burned down, he wrote more than three dozen plays (that we are sure of) and more than 150 sonnets. He was celebrated by Ben Jonson, one of the leading playwrights of the day, as a writer who would be "not for an age, but for all time," a prediction that has proved to be true. Today, Shakespeare towers over all other English writers and has few rivals in any language. His genius and creativity continue to astound scholars, and his plays continue to delight audiences. Many have served as the basis for operas, ballets, musical compositions, and films. While Jonson and other writers labored over their plays, Shakespeare seems to have had the ability to turn out work of exceptionally high caliber at an amazing speed. At the height of his career, he wrote an average of two plays a year as well as dozens of poems, songs, and possibly even verses for tombstones and heraldic shields, all while he continued to act in the plays performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. This staggering output is even more impressive when one considers its variety. Except for the English history plays, he never wrote the same kind of play twice. He seems to have had a good deal of fun in trying his hand at every kind of play. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, all published on 1609, most of which were dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothsley, The Earl of Southhampton. He also wrote 13 comedies, 13 histories, 6 tragedies, and 4 tragecomedies. He died at Stratford-upon-Avon April 23, 1616, and was buried two days later on the grounds of Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. His cause of death was unknown, but it is surmised that he knew he was dying.

Jonathan Bate was born June 26, 1958. He is a British biographer, broadcaster, and leading Shakespeare scholar. He studied at Sevenoaks School, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard University. At Cambridge, he was a Fellow of Trinity Hall. While studying at Harvard, he held a Harness Fellowship. Bate is a professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick. He was previously King Alfred Professor of English Literature at the University of Liverpool. He has also lectured at various universities in the United States. Bate is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature. Bate lives near Stratford-upon-Avon and is married to author and biography, Paula Byrne. They have three children.

Act 1 Scene 1 running scene 1 Enter King Richard, John of Gaunt, with other Nobles and Attendants KING RICHARD Old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster, Hast thou according to thy oath and band Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son, Here to make good the boist'rous late appeal, Which then our leisure would not let us hear, Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray? GAUNT I have, my liege.
King Richard Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him, If he appeal the duke on ancient malice, Or worthily, as a good subject should, On some known ground of treachery in him? GAUNT As near as I could sift him on that argument, On some apparent danger seen in him Aimed at your highness, no inveterate malice.
King Richard Then call them to our presence. [Exit an Attendant] Face to face, And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear Th'accuser and the accus�d freely speak; High-stomached are they both, and full of ire, In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Enter Bullingbrook and Mowbray BULLINGBROOK Many years of happy days befall My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege! MOWBRAY Each day still better other's happiness Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, Add an immortal title to your crown! KING RICHARD We thank you both. Yet one but flatters us, As well appeareth by the cause you come, Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.
Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray? BULLINGBROOK First, heaven be the record to my speech! In the devotion of a subject's love, Tend'ring the precious safety of my prince, And free from other misbegotten hate, Come I appellant to this princely presence.
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee, And mark my greeting well, for what I speak My body shall make good upon this earth, Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor and a miscreant; Too good to be so and too bad to live, Since the more fair and crystal is the sky, The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
Once more, the more to aggravate the note, With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat; And wish - so please my sovereign - ere I move, What my tongue speaks my right drawn sword may prove.
MOWBRAY Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal: 'Tis not the trial of a woman's war, The bitter clamour of two eager tongues, Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain.
The blood is hot that must be cooled for this.
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast As to be hushed and nought at all to say.
First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me From giving reins and spurs to my free speech, Which else would post until it had returned These terms of treason doubly down his throat.
Setting aside his high blood's royalty, And let him be no kinsman to my liege, I do defy him, and I spit at him, Call him a slanderous coward and a villain, Which to maintain I would allow him odds, And meet him, were I tied to run afoot Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps, Or any other ground inhabitable Wherever Englishman durst set his foot.
Meantime, let this defend my loyalty: By all my hopes most falsely doth he lie.
BULLINGBROOK Pale trembling coward, there I Throws down his gage throw my gage, Disclaiming here the kindred of a king, And lay aside my high blood's royalty, Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except.
If guilty dread hath left thee so much strength As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop.
By that and all the rites of knighthood else, Will I make good against thee, arm to arm, What I have spoken, or thou canst devise.
MOWBRAY I take it up, and by that sword I swear Takes up gage Which gently laid my knighthood on my shoulder, I'll answer thee in any fair degree, Or chivalrous design of knightly trial: And when I mount, alive may I not light, If I be traitor or unjustly fight! KING RICHARD What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's charge? It must be great that can inherit us So much as of a thought of ill in him.
BULLINGBROOK Look what I said: my life shall prove it true, That Mowbray hath received eight thousand nobles In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers, The which he hath detained for lewd employments, Like a false traitor and injurious villain.
Besides I say, and will in battle prove, Or here or elsewhere to the furthest verge That ever was surveyed by English eye, That all the treasons for these eighteen years Complotted and contriv�d in this land Fetched from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
Further I say, and further will maintain Upon his bad life to make all this good, That he did plot the Duke of Gloucester's death, Suggest his soon-believing adversaries, And consequently, like a traitor coward, Sluiced out his innocent soul through streams of blood: Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth To me for justice and rough chastisement.
And by the glorious worth of my descent, This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
KING RICHARD How high a pitch his resolution soars! Thomas of Norfolk, what sayest thou to this? MOWBRAY O, let my sovereign turn away his face And bid his ears a little while be deaf, Till I have told this slander of his blood, How God and good men hate so foul a liar.
KING RICHARD Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
Were he my brother, nay, our kingdom's heir, As he is but my father's brother's son, Now, by my sceptre's awe, I make a vow, Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize The unstooping firmness of my upright soul.
He is our subject, Mowbray, so art thou.
Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.
MOWBRAY Then, Bullingbrook, as low as to thy heart, Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest.
Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais Disbursed I duly to his highness' soldiers; The other part reserved I by consent, For that my sovereign liege was in my debt Upon remainder of a dear account, Since last I went to France to fetch his queen.
Now swallow down that lie. For Gloucester's death, I slew him not; but to mine own disgrace Neglected my sworn duty in that case.
For you, my noble lord of Lancaster, The honourable father to my foe, Once I did lay an ambush for your life - A trespass that doth vex my griev�d soul.
But ere I last received the sacrament I did confess it, and exactly begged Your grace's pardon, and I hope I had it.
This is my fault. As for the rest appealed, It issues from the rancour of a villain, A recreant and most degenerate traitor Which in myself I boldly will defend, And interchangeably hurl down my gage Throws down his gage Upon this overweening traitor's foot, To prove myself a loyal gentleman Even in the best blood chambered in his bosom.
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray Your highness to assign our trial day.
KING RICHARD Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me: Let's purge this choler without letting blood.
This we prescribe, though no physician: Deep malice makes too deep incision.
Forget, forgive, conclude and be agreed: Our doctors say this is no time to bleed.
Good uncle, let this end where it begun: We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.
GAUNT To be a make-peace shall become my age: Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.
KING RICHARD And, Norfolk, throw down his.
GAUNT When, Harry, when? Obedience bids I should not bid again.
KING RICHARD Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot.
MOWBRAY Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot. Kneels My life thou shalt command, but not my shame: The one my duty owes, but my fair name, Despite of death that lives upon my grave, To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
I am disgraced, impeached and baffled here, Pierced to the soul with slander's venomed spear, The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood Which breathed this poison.
KING RICHARD Rage must be withstood.
Give me his gage. Lions make leopards tame.
MOWBRAY Yea, but not change his spots. Take but my shame, And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord, The purest treasure mortal times afford Is spotless reputation: that away, Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barred-up chest Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
Mine honour is my life; both grow in one: Take honour from me, and my life is done.
Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try.
In that I live and for that will I die.
KING RICHARD Cousin, throw down your gage. Do you begin.
BULLINGBROOK O, heaven defend my soul from such foul sin! Shall I seem crest-fall'n in my father's sight? Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height Before this out-dared dastard? Ere my tongue Shall wound mine honour with such feeble wrong, Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear The slavish motive of recanting fear, And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace, Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray's face.
Exit Gaunt KING RICHARD We were not born to sue, but to command, Which since we cannot do to make you friends, Be ready, as your lives shall answer it, At Coventry upon Saint Lambert's day: There shall your swords and lances arbitrate The swelling difference of your settled hate.
Since we cannot atone you, we shall see Justice design the victor's chivalry.
Lord Marshal, command our officers at arms Be ready to direct these home alarms. Exeunt Act 1 Scene 2 running scene 2 Enter Gaunt and Duchess of Gloucester GAUNT Alas, the part I had in Gloucester's blood Doth more solicit me than your exclaims, To stir against the butchers of his life.
But since correction lieth in those hands Which made the fault that we cannot correct, Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven, Who, when they see the hours ripe on earth, Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads.
DUCHESS Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur? Hath love in thy old blood no living fire? Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one, Were as seven vials of his sacred blood, Or seven fair branches springing from one root: Some of those seven are dried by nature's course, Some of those branches by the Destinies cut.
But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloucester, One vial full of Edward's sacred blood, One flourishing branch of his most royal root, Is cracked, and all the precious liquor spilt, Is hacked down, and his summer leaves all faded, By envy's hand and murder's bloody axe.
Ah, Gaunt, his blood was thine! That bed, that womb, That metal, that self-mould that fashioned thee Made him a man. And though thou liv'st and breath'st, Yet art thou slain in him. Thou dost consent In some large measure to thy father's death, In that thou see'st thy wretched brother die, Who was the model of thy father's life.
Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is despair.
In suff'ring thus thy brother to be slaughtered, Thou show'st the naked pathway to thy life, Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee.
That which in mean men we entitle patience Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
What shall I say? To safeguard thine own life, The best way is to venge my Gloucester's death.
GAUNT Heaven's is the quarrel, for heaven's substitute, His deputy anointed in his sight, Hath caused his death, the which if wrongfully, Let heaven revenge, for I may never lift An angry arm against his minister.
DUCHESS Where then, alas, may I complaint myself? GAUNT To heaven, the widow's champion to defence.
DUCHESS Why, then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight.
O, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear, That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast! Or if misfortune miss the first career, Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom, That they may break his foaming courser's back, And throw the rider headlong in the lists, A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford! Farewell, old Gaunt: thy sometimes brother's wife With her companion grief must end her life.
GAUNT Sister, farewell. I must to Coventry.
As much good stay with thee as go with me! DUCHESS Yet one word more: grief boundeth where it falls, Not with the empty hollowness, but weight.
I take my leave before I have begun, For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
Commend me to my brother, Edmund York.
Lo, this is all. Nay, yet depart not so: Though this be all, do not so quickly go.
I shall remember more. Bid him - O, what? - With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
Alack, and what shall good old York there see But empty lodgings and unfurnished walls, Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones? And what hear there for welcome but my groans? Therefore commend me, let him not come there To seek out sorrow that dwells everywhere.
Desolate, desolate, will I hence and die: The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye. Exeunt Act 1 Scene 3 running scene 3 Enter [the Lord] Marshal and Aumerle LORD MARSHAL My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford armed? AUMERLE Yea, at all points, and longs to enter in.
LORD MARSHAL The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold, Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet.
AUMERLE Why, then, the champions are prepared, and stay For nothing but his majesty's approach.
Flourish. Enter King, Gaunt, Bushy, Bagot, Green and others. [When they are set,] then Mowbray in armour and [a] Herald KING RICHARD Marshal, demand of yonder champion The cause of his arrival here in arms.
Ask him his name and orderly proceed To swear him in the justice of his cause.
LORD MARSHAL In God's name and the king's, say who thou art And why thou com'st thus knightly clad in arms, Against what man thou com'st, and what's thy quarrel.
Speak truly, on thy knighthood and thine oath, As so defend thee heaven and thy valour! MOWBRAY My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, Who hither comes engag�d by my oath - Which heaven defend a knight should violate! - Both to defend my loyalty and truth To God, my king and his succeeding issue, Against the Duke of Hereford that appeals me, And, by the grace of God and this mine arm, To prove him, in defending of myself, A traitor to my God, my king, and me.
And as I truly fight, defend me heaven! Tucket. Enter Hereford [Bullingbrook] and Herald KING RICHARD Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms, Both who he is and why he cometh hither Thus plated in habiliments of war, And formally, according to our law, Depose him in the justice of his cause.
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