Richard II Part 3

No pictures with this one because they would all just be too depressing…

Act IV, Scene 1

Henry Bolingbroke calls Bagot before him to ask what he knows of Gloucester’s death. He immediately blames the whole affair on Aumerle. Aumerle scoffs at the accusation and barely even wants to offer a response, but throws down his gage. Bolingbroke forbids Bagot from picking it up. Fitzwater throws down his gage at this point saying that he also knows that Aumerle killed his uncle. Percy throws his gage, and so does another random lord.

Surrey steps forward to defend Aumerle and call Fitzwater a liar. Fitzwater stands firm and says that Norfolk himself said Aumerle sent men to kill Gloucester. Aumerle throws down his gage again. Bolingbroke decides that instead of having some sort of crazy battle royale, he will recall Norfolk from banishment to testify in Aumerle’s trial. Unfortunately, Norfolk is dead, so that’s not really an option. Bolingbroke concedes that the fighting must happen.

York comes in with the news that Richard has named Bolingbroke his rightful heir and the new King, Henry IV. Everyone is pretty pumped about this turn of events, except for Bishop Carlisle. He delivers a rousing speech about how Henry is a traitor and no subject can pass judgement or sentence on a King. Then, he prophesizes that this decision will lead to years of war in England (*cough* War of the Roses *cough*). Northumberland congratulates him on delivering such a passionate speech and then has him arrested for treason.

Henry asks that Richard come before him to publicly renounce the throne. Richard comes before him, broken. He finds it painful to be called before the new King so shortly after giving up his crown. He still feels like a King. York tells him to give up his crown. He hands it over to Henry explaining that it still brings him great sorrow to do so. Henry assumes he is taking on some of Richard’s cares, but Richard insists that his cares can not be taken away. Henry asks is Richard is willingly renouncing the throne. Richard is hesitant, but ultimately says yes.

Northumberland tells him that he needs to read aloud his list of crimes. Richard doesn’t think this is very fair because all of the men in that room betrayed their oaths to him and lead to this deposition. Northumberland insists, but Richard tells him his eyes are too full of tears (and traitors) to read. Northumberland refers to him as Lord and Richard breaks down further. He knows that he no longer anyone’s Lord and asks to see a mirror. While they wait on the mirror, Northumberland keeps insisting that he read his list of crimes. At this point even Henry thinks he’s being a bit excessive.

Once he gets a mirror, Richard is surprised to see so few wrinkles on his face despite the many sorrows he faced in his life. He smashes the mirror on the ground. Bolingbroke assumes he must feel a little better after that, but he doesn’t. He’s still sad. Richard asks for one favor, to be allowed to leave. Henry has him sent to the Tower.

For inexplicable reasons, the Bishop of Carlisle and Aumerle are left alone with the Abbot of Westminster. Aumerle wonders if there is a plot to get rid of Henry. The Abbot tells him to come to dinner and they can talk about it.

Act V, Scene 1

The Queen meets Richard outside the tower. She is quite distressed to see him being imprisoned. He tells her to go to France and join a cloister. She asks how he can be so defeated. He tells her to pretend he’s dead and go to France and tell their sad story.

Northumberland delivers the message that Henry has changed his mind and Richard will be kept at Pomfret Castle and the Queen will be sent to France. Richard warns him that Henry will not trust him forever because now he has a history of deposing Kings. Northumberland thinks that’s silly and tells him to hurry up with his goodbyes. Richard recounts all of oaths being broken: he is separated from his crown, and now his wife, and also Northumberland broke his oath.

The Queen begs Northumberland to send Richard with her to France, but that is never going to happen. She asks to go with him. Richard intervenes at this point and tells her they must be separated. They have a long goodbye.

Act V, Scene 2

York recounts for his wife Bolingbroke’s entrance into London. He was greeted with a lot of applause and praise. Richard, on the other hand, received nothing but contempt from the people and even had some dirt thrown at him.

The Duchess remarks that their son, Aumerle is coming. York insists she call him Rutland because he is on Richard’s side. Father, mother, and son engage in some small talk before York notices a piece of paper in Aumerle’s hand. He demands to see it, but Aumerle refuses. He gets angrier as Aumerle keeps refusing. The Duchess tries to intervene on her son’s behalf, but fails. York reads the paper and discovers that there is treachery afoot.

York immediately demands his boots and that his horse be prepared to ride. He is going straight to the King. The Duchess asks what is going on. No one really answers her, but Aumerle makes it clear that this means his death. She pleads with York not to turn their son in because they only have the one and she doesn’t want to see him die. York explains at this point that there is a plot to kill the King at Oxford. She suggests they just keep their son in the house until after Oxford. Since this plan doesn’t actually do anything to save the King, York is still determined to turn in his son. His wife pulls the “I birthed him, so I love him more” card, but York still leaves. She tells her son to ride out and try to beat him to the King.

Act V, Scene 3

Henry asks about his son who is coming to the tournament at Oxford, but spends most of his time drinking with unsuitable people. The King still has hope for his son.

Aumerle managed to beat York to the palace and asks to speak to the King alone. Henry agrees. Aumerle immediately asks for a pardon, which Henry grants. Aumerle locks the door, so that no one can interrupt his story. Henry finds this odd but agrees to locking the door.

York immediately starts pounding on the door yelling the the King is in danger. Henry wonders what all the fuss is about and York hands him the letter. Aumerle reminds the King of his pardon and asks him not to consider Aumerle a part of this plot. York scolds his son because he isn’t really sorry. York had to force the paper out of his hand. Henry, after reading the letter, is inclined to believe York.

The Duchess starts pounding on the door now. Henry reluctantly agrees to let her in, knowing that she’s just going to plead for her son’s life. York tells Henry not to pardon his son because it will only lead to more plots against him. The Duchess comes in and kneels, swearing to not stand up until her son is pardoned. Aumerle joins her. York kneels to plead the King not to spare his son. The Duchess insists that her prayers are more heartfelt than her husband’s. Henry finally agrees to a pardon after asking her to stand several times. She’s happy and Henry prepares to take down the other plotters.

Act V, Scene 4

Exton explains to his servant that the King basically asked him to kill Richard, so that’s what he plans to do. He is pretty liberal with his interpretation of the facts though…

Act V, Scene 5

Richard remarks on how he uses his imagination to create a whole little world inside his prison cell. He hears music and remarks how the long hours are driving him mad. (My summary can’t really do this speech justice, please go read the whole thing!)

Richard’s stable groomer comes to see him. He tells him how Henry rode his best horse. Richard is at first mad at the horse, but then realizes it’s a horse and that he’s being silly. He dismisses the groomer. The Keeper enters with his meal and Richard asks him to taste it first. The Keeper explains that Exton has expressly forbid him from doing that and Richard starts beating him.

Exton and his servant enter to see what all the commotion is about. Richard realizes what is happening and kills the servant with his own weapon. Exton kills Richard.

Act V, Scene 6

York tells Henry that he has the heads of some of the traitors. Northumberland enters with more news of victorious deaths. Finally, Percy brings him the Bishop of Carlisle and explains that the Abbot of Westminster is dead. Henry sentences Carlisle to death.

Exton enters with Richard in his coffin. He tells the King that he did what he asked. Henry insists he never asked for him to kill Richard, but Exton is pretty sure he did. Henry decides to go on a holy pilgrimage to atone for Richard’s death.

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