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

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

King John Part 1

This has already been much more enjoyable than anticipated, in large part due to the character Philip the Bastard. Act I, Scene 1 Chantillon, an emissary from France, comes to tell John that he isn't really King and that he should just give up the throne to his nephew Arthur. In a shocking turn of … Continue reading King John Part 1

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

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

Henry VI Part 3 Act V

Thus brings us to the end of Henry... Scene 1 Warwick confirms with a messenger that his allies, Oxford, Montague, and Somerset are close. His son, Somerville, enters and explains that Clarence is only two hours away. Warwick rejoices that he can hear the drums. The only problem is the drums do not come from … Continue reading Henry VI Part 3 Act V