Act I, Scene 1 Richard calls forth his uncle, John of Gaunt, to explain the position of Henry Bolingbroke, Gaunt’s son. As far as Gaunt can tell, Bolingbroke has evidence of some treachery from Thomas Mowbry, the Duke of Norfolk. Since the treachery seems directed at Richard, he decides to hear their case. Bolingbroke and … Continue reading

The Tumultuous Reign of Richard II

Before we jump into the play about Richard II, it's important to understand the basic facts of his reign, as they would have been understood by an Elizabethan audience. Richard's reign was defined by those who tried to exert power through him. First, by the men put in charge of him as a minor. Then, … Continue reading The Tumultuous Reign of Richard II

King John Part 3

Let's see how this all ends...probably really well for everyone. Act IV, Scene 1 Hubert prepares with the executioner to surprise Arthur, bind him to a chair, and have the red hot iron ready. Hubert starts talking to Arthur, who is just delightful. He asks why Hubert is sad and reflects on his own misfortune. … Continue reading King John Part 3

King John Part 2

And there was peace between England and France...for 2.5 seconds. Act III, Scene 1 Salisbury just told Constance about the marriage between Louis and Blanche. Constance doesn't take it well. First she doesn't believe him, but he confirms it to be true. She laments about this turn of events and wishes she could die from … Continue reading King John Part 2

Introducing King John

Alright, here we go, another history play. King John is one of Shakespeare’s outlier history plays. John was king about 169 years before Edward III. While the play takes some definite liberties with history, it is helpful to know some context before jumping into the plot. Unfortunately, to get a full understanding, we have to … Continue reading Introducing King John