Richard II and Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I was famously supposed to have compared herself to Richard II. We may find that surprising to think of today because she is remembered as Gloriana, a great Queen. However, late in her reign when Richard II was written, this was not that surprising of a comparison. As the Queen aged, eyes started looking … Continue reading Richard II and Elizabeth I

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 … Continue reading Richard II Part 3

Richard II Part Two

Act III, Scene 1 Bolingbroke sentences Bushy and Green to death. He wouldn’t even bother telling them why, but he doesn’t want anyone thinking that he killed them unjustly. So, he explains that they lead the King astray and stole his attention so often that they actually came between him and his Queen. Then, of … Continue reading Richard II Part Two

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

Female Complexity in Taming of the Shrew

In The Taming of the Shrew, we see two sisters pitted against each other. Bianca is a perfect example of feminine virtue. She is obedient, soft-spoken, and studious. Katherine, however, is the exact opposite. She is outspoken, even rude sometimes, about what she wants and thinks. However, if we look more closely at these two … Continue reading Female Complexity in Taming of the Shrew

Taming of the Shrew: Introduction

Understanding the Many Readings of the Play The Taming of the Shrew can be a drastically polarizing play to those who study and perform Shakespeare. Like most of his plays, it can be interpreted in a wide variety of ways, but the two main readings of Shrew are particularly divisive. Some read it as a … Continue reading Taming of the Shrew: Introduction

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

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Peek into Elizabethan Theatre

Occasionally, Shakespeare gives us a glimpse into what life was like in Elizabethan England. A Midsummer Night's Dream may offer a look into what the theatre was like during Shakespeare's time through the dysfunctional group of actors. The few short scenes that feature the actors show us the collaborative nature of the theatre from casting … Continue reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Peek into Elizabethan Theatre