Video Montage and Character Credits (02:12)
A video montage provides viewers an overview of Shakespearean drama, characters, and tone of the play.
Richard II: Bolingbroke Accuses Mowbray (04:57)
Act I, sc. i: King Richard's palace. Bolingbroke calls Thomas Mowbray a miscreant and a traitor. He reveals that Mowbray "did plot the Duke of Gloucester's death."
Richard II: Mowbray's Defense (04:27)
Act I, sc. i: Mowbray denies Bolingbroke's accusations. Mowbray and Bolingbroke angrily insult each other, each accusing the other of being traitorous. They throw down their gages, meaning they will duel to the death.
Richard II: Enemies Prepare to Fight (05:45)
Act I, sc. iii: The field of battle. Mowbray and Bolingbroke cite their accusations against each other. John of Gaunt blesses his son Henry. The two men formally square off, ready to do battle. King Richard stops the fight before it begins.
Richard II: Punishment for Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk (04:53)
Act I, sc. iii: King Richard decrees banishment for both noblemen. Mowbray is banished from England forever. He vehemently pleads for a different justice. Richard demands an oath from each man to stay apart forever.
Richard II: Banishment for Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford (03:08)
Act I, sc. iii: Bolingbroke is banished from England for 6 years. His uncle, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, intercedes on his son's behalf. King Richard does not bend. The duke's son pledges, "Though banished, yet a trueborn Englishman."
Richard II: Richard's Irish Wars (03:05)
Act I, sc. iv: King Richard plans to "farm our royal realm" to produce more revenue. He learns that his uncle, John of Gaunt, is very ill. He hopes his uncle will die so he can expropriate his wealth "to deck our soldiers for these Irish wars."
Richard II: John of Gaunt's Praise of England (04:00)
Act II, sc. i: Ely House. John of Gaunt is dying. He waits for the King and delivers a soliloquy on England's glory as a "sceptered isle" and "This other Eden." Richard's decision to leased land infuriates him and wishes that this great scandal would die when he dies.
Richard II: John of Gaunt's Confrontation with Richard (03:48)
Act II, sc. i: A dying John of Gaunt rebukes Richard for banishing his son, wasting money, taxing the people, and letting England go to ruin. An enraged Richard calls him a "lunatic lean-witted fool." York calms the king, a man easily pacified by flattery.
Richard II: Richard Takes His Uncle's Riches (03:54)
Act II, sc. i: Richard learns that his uncle, John of Gaunt is dead. Richard hardly acknowledges the news and immediately turns to his Irish wars. Richard plans to take all of his uncle's riches. York argues that his son Bolingbroke should inherit it.
Richard II: News of Bolingbroke's Return (03:29)
Act II, sc. i: York, Willoughby, and Lord Ross, angry at Richard's injustice to his uncle, agree that Richard is ruining England. They learn that Bolingbroke is heading toward England with tall ships and 3,000 men of war.
Richard II: Noblemen Join Bolingbroke (06:39)
Act II, sc. ii: Windsor Castle. Queen Isabella has a feeling of dread. Richard has taken his army off to Ireland. Bolingbroke has arrived at Ravenspurgh. Noblemen are joining Bolingbroke's cause. York is beside himself.
Richard II: Gathering of Noblemen (03:18)
Act II, sc. iii: The wilds of Gloucestershire. Bolingbroke, Northumberland, Henry Percy, Ross, Willoughby, and Berkeley. Bolingbroke thanks them for their loyalty.
Richard II: Duke of York's Change of Heart (04:52)
Act II, sc. iii: The duke of York chides Bolingbroke for coming back to foment rebellion. Bolingbroke explains that he comes for himself alone to reclaim his inheritance. York softens to Henry's cause.
Richard II: Welsh Defection (01:37)
Act II, sc. iv: Summoned by Salisbury to a camp in Wales, Welsh soldiers wait for the arrival of King Richard. They plan to join him and go against Bolingbroke. When they don't hear from Richard for 10 days, they assume he is dead and return to their homes.
Richard II: Death Sentences (03:05)
Act III, sc. i: Bristol castle. Two of Richard's loyal allies are brought before Bolingbroke, who sentences them to death. To the end they accuse Bolingbroke injustice and curse him to hell. He and his men leave to fight some rebellious Welshmen.
Richard II: Soldiers' Defection (05:33)
Act III, sc. ii: Coast of Wales. Bolingbroke is getting nearer to Richard's camp. Richard has faith in his anointed, God-given kingship. Salisbury breaks the bad news that 12,000 Welsh soldiers and have defected to Bolingbroke.
Richard II: Peasants in Support of Bolingbroke (03:16)
Act III, sc. ii: Scroop arrives to deliver more bad news: the peasants are siding with Bolingbroke. Richard responds with words of resignation. Salisbury reminds him to remain kingly.
Richard II: Richard's Defeat (06:45)
Act III, sc. ii: King Richard speaks a dark monologue, filled with despair. He speaks "of graves, worms, and epitaphs." He learns that his castles in the north are captured, and the Duke of York has defected. Richard is resigned to his misfortune.
Richard II: Message to King Richard (03:29)
Act III, sc. iii: Outside Flint Castle, where King Richard has fled, Bolingbroke sends Northumberland a message. If the King returns the land and title he took from John of Gaunt, he will become a loyal subject. If not, then Bolingbroke will go to war against the King.
Richard II: Richard's Threat (04:14)
Act III, sc. iii: King Richard will stain England with blood if Bolingbroke tries to take the throne from him. Northumberland explains that Bolingbroke only wants his inheritance as John of Gaunt's heir.
Richard II: Richard's Self Pity (02:52)
Act III, sc. iii: The King fears that Bolingbroke will usurp the throne. Then he seems to divest himself of power in a dramatic monologue in which he pictures his death and poor burial.
Richard II: Richard Gives Up (03:40)
Act III, sc. iii: Richard accedes to Bolingbroke's request to come to him. Richard, without knowing what Bolingbroke will do, gives up easily, claiming he has no other choice.
Richard II: Queen Isabel's Fears (01:12)
Act III, sc. iv: Queen Isabella expresses her foreboding and sadness over the fate of King Richard, although she has heard nothing about his fate. As gardeners approach, the Queen and her ladies hide in order to hear what these men talk about.
Richard II: Eavesdropping on Bad News (02:58)
Act III, sc. iv: Two gardeners discuss the state of England. Bolingbroke has taken Richard into his custody. Bolingbroke, they say, has the support of all the English noblemen.
Richard II: Queen Learns of Richard's Fate (01:54)
Act III, sc. iv: Queen Isabella comes out of hiding to rebuke the gardeners. She demands to know the truth. When she hears the fate of her husband, she curses the gardeners and leaves with her ladies. She will travel to London.
Richard II: Who Is the Conspirator? (02:51)
Act IV, sc. i: Bagot reveals Aumerle and not Mowbray is the man who conspired to kill the Duke of Gloucester. Other noblemen accuse Aumerle plotting to kill Gloucester.
Richard II: News of the Duke of Norfolk's Death (01:42)
Act IV, sc. i: Bolingbroke plans to bring Thomas Mowbray to settle the truth about Aumerle's role in a conspiracy. The Bishop of Carlisle informs Bolingbroke that Mowbray is dead.
Richard II: News of Richard's Abdication (03:15)
Act IV, sc. i: Richard abdicates the throne. Bolingbroke says he will "ascend the regal throne." The Bishop of Carlise rebukes Bolingbroke. Northumberland arrests the Bishop on charges of capital treason.
Richard II: Crown and Scepter (05:14)
Act IV, sc. i: Richard appears before Bolingbroke, bemoaning his fate. He reluctantly gives his crown and scepter to the new king.
Richard II: Richard's Breakdown (07:26)
Act IV, sc. i: Richard refuses to read a list of crimes against England. He calls for a mirror. Instead he insists on reading what he sees in the mirror. He begs Bolingbroke to leave without being seen on his way to the Tower of London.
Richard II: Final Meeting of Isabel and Richard (03:04)
Act V, sc. i: Isabella meets Richard on the way to the Tower. She rebukes him for giving up so easily. Why doesn't he show the indignation he once did? Richard comforts her and tells her to think of him as dead.
Richard II: Richard's Farewell (02:08)
Act V. sc. i: Richard warns Northumberland that Bolingbroke will accuse him of conspiracy. Northumberland tells Isabella to go to France. Richard bemoans his fate and bids his wife a tearful farewell.
Richard II: Soliloquy of a Former King (07:49)
Act V, sc. v: Richard, imprisoned in Pomfret , soliloquizes, trying to reconcile himself to his fate.
Richard II: Groom and Keeper in Richard's Cell (03:07)
Act V, sc. v: Richard's faithful groom comes to his in to express his feelings about Richard's fall from grace. The keeper enters with food, but he has been forbidden to taste it. Richard attacks the keeper.
Richard II: Richard's Death (01:53)
Act V, sc. v: Exton and armed servants enter Richard's cell. He kills two servants. Exton strikes him down. Before he dies, Richard curses Exton to Hell. Exton is troubled by guilt. He drags Richard's body out to take it to King Henry.
Richard II: Bolingbroke's Guilt and Vow (03:14)
Act V, sc. vi: At Windsor Castle, Bolingbroke learns that Oxford, Salisbury, Blunt, and Kent are dead. Two more heads arrive. The Bishop is banished. Standing by Richard's coffin, Bolingbroke expresses his guilt and sadness. He vows to go to the Holy Land to wash his guilt away.
Cast of Characters and Credits: Richard II (02:50)
Cast of Characters and Credits: Richard II
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